After 62 games, an offensive shakeup is in order

Fan Confidence Poll: June 9th, 2014
Monday Links: All-Star Game, Shifts, Teixeira
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

The Yankees lost for the eighth time in their last 12 games yesterday, and only four times in that stretch did they score more than three runs. They’re hitting .240/.292/.322 as a team during those 12 games and are averaging 2.67 runs per game. Last season’s club boasted the worst Yankees offense since the early 1990, and they scored 250 runs through their first 62 games. This year’s team has 249.

The offensive struggles are becoming untenable. The pitching staff is already stretched thin due to injury and asking them to carry a lineup barely able to scratch out three runs a night is totally unrealistic. The Yankees revamped their bullpen slightly last week and the time has come to shake up the offense as well. Their options to improve the offense are limited because of large contracts and whatnot, but here are three pretty simple ideas.

Bat Jeter Leadoff
Let’s state the obvious here: Derek Jeter hasn’t hit a lick this year. He’s managed a .254/.312/.300 (71 wRC+) batting line through 234 plate appearances and ranks dead last out of 167 qualified hitters with a .047 ISO. Even Ben Revere has hit for more power. According to Baseball Savant, Jeter has seen the highest rate of pitches over 90 mph (55.2%) among players with at least 100 at-bats, and against those pitches he has the lowest ISO (.019!) and the fifth lowest batting average (.235) in baseball. Opponents know he can’t hit fastballs so they’re throwing the ball right by him. It’s sorta embarrassing at this point.

And yet, because he’s Derek Jeter, he’s batted second all season and he’ll continue to bat second going forward. The Yankees have made it clear they won’t do anything to upset their captain — remember when they gave him a raise for no apparent reason over the winter? that was weird — and at least part of that is due to the fact that his retirement tour is a cash cow. Attendance, ratings, and merchandise sales would take a hit if Jeter is given a lesser role. The Yankees are all about winning, as long as it doesn’t upset Jeter or hurt their bottom line.

So, the club is stuck batting him in a prime lineup spot. That’s reality and it’s been made very clear. To make the best of a bad situation, the Yankees should move Jeter up a lineup spot, from second to leadoff. Why? Because it would allow them to bunch their four best hitters together. Rather than having the unproductive Jeter splinter Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury in the lineup, they could bat him leadoff, then go with Gardner in the two spot ahead of Ellsbury, Mark Teixeira, and Yangervis Solarte.

Because the Yankees don’t hit for any power — they’ve hit four homers in their last 13 games, four! — they have to string together base hits and walks to score runs. The best possible way to do that is to bunch your best hitters together in the lineup, not spread them out. All you’re doing is adding outs to the equation by spreading them out and that reduces the chances of scoring. Bat Jeter leadoff, get his at-bat out of the way, then give the team’s four best hitters a chance to do some damage. Don’t try to include him in the rally because he’s shown these last 62 games he can’t help offensively.

Exit Roberts, Enter Sizemore
The Yankees were in a real tough spot when Robinson Cano bolted for the Mariners, and yet, because of the contract he signed, it was totally understandable why they let him walk. That didn’t make finding a replacement any easier — Omar Infante has a 66 wRC+ in the first year of his four-year contract, by the way — so the Yankees settled on Proven Veteran™ Brian Roberts, who has a .239/.317/.350 (85 wRC+) batting line in 203 plate appearances. Somehow he’s stayed healthy so far.

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

Like Jeter, it’s clear Roberts isn’t going to provide much with the bat. He had a little hot streak a few weeks ago but even then that only raised him up to a .690 OPS for the season, the highest it’s been since the third game of the year. Unlike Jeter, the Yankees can replace Roberts. He’s not a legacy player, there are no long-standing ties to him, and it’s not like he’s hit when he’s been healthy the last few years either. His only redeeming quality on offense is his ability to have consistently long at-bats (3.97 pitches per plate appearances), which isn’t worth a whole lot by itself.

Since Roberts isn’t hitting and is one of the few disposable pieces in the lineup, the Yankees should replace him with … Solarte. Solarte’s natural position is second base and he’s looked much more comfortable defensively there than at the hot corner. That would allow them to call up Scott Sizemore and use him in a third base platoon with Kelly Johnson. Johnson’s hit 16+ homers in each of the last four years and this team can’t hit for power. I don’t know how they expect him to remain productive playing him once a week out of position at first base. Dump Roberts and go with Solarte at second and the Sizemore/Johnson platoon at third.

Exit Soriano, Enter Almonte
Joe wrote about dumping Alfonso Soriano last week and I don’t really have anything to add. He’s hitting .229/.255/.396 (71 wRC+) with 60 strikeouts and five unintentional walks this year, and since April 25th his swing and miss rate is 17.8%, which is absurd. His at-bats aren’t even competitive. The Yankees are only paying Soriano $5M this season and this point they only owe him another $3M or so. It’s a sunk cost. Cut him loose and let someone else play.

That someone, in my opinion, should be Zoilo Almonte. I’m not sold on Adonis Garcia and there really isn’t another viable MLB outfield option in Triple-A. Almonte has some power, swatting eight homers in 38 Triple-A games this year. He also has seasons of 15 and 21 homers in the minors. Zoilo is a switch-hitter but not really; he’s awful against lefties. He’s hit .296/.355/.502 against righties in the minors since 2011 but only .255/.313/.386 against southpaws. The left side of the plate is clearly his better side.

Ichiro Suzuki isn’t terrible against lefties though, hitting .375/.423/.417 (129 wRC+) against them this year and .347/.360/.462 (124 wRC+) since joining the Yankees in 2012. I don’t understand it either, but whatever. Rather than continuing to stick with the wholly unproductive Soriano, the club could roll with the unconventional two lefty platoon in right field — Almonte against righties and Ichiro against lefties. As with the proposed second/third base arrangement above, there’s a decent chance the Almonte/Ichiro platoon will improve both the offense and defense. Crazy, I know.

* * *

The Yankees don’t have much flexibility with their everyday lineup, mostly due to contracts but also because of their undying devotion to Jeter. The offense has been stagnant for way too long for them to remain status quo and wait for things to improve — “We’re just trying to move this thing along. If there are guys struggling in New York, I can’t wait,” said Brian Cashman to Donnie Collins recently — and those are three simple ways to shake things up and give the team a better opportunity to score. They could roll out this regular lineup:

  1. Jeter
  2. Gardner
  3. Ellsbury
  4. Teixeira
  5. Solarte
  6. Carlos Beltran or Brian McCann
  7. Beltran or McCann
  8. Almonte/Ichiro platoon
  9. Johnson/Sizemore platoon

The four best hitters on the team are bunched together and there’s a little bit of pop in the lower third of the lineup. No one will confuse that group for the 1927 Yankees or even the 2012 Yankees, but two of the three worst hitters would be replaced and the third will be de-emphasized in the sense that the club’s best hitters won’t have to try to build a rally around him. It’ll be like Jeter is hitting ninth once the lineup turns over.

There’s not much the Yankees can do to improve their occasionally non-existent offense, but a shakeup is still in order. They can do it without creating a stir with Jeter as long as they’re willing to cut bait with two unproductive veterans and give a young guy like Almonte a chance. What they have now just isn’t working.

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Fan Confidence Poll: June 9th, 2014
Monday Links: All-Star Game, Shifts, Teixeira
  • Yankee$

    “remember when they gave him a raise for no apparent reason over the winter?”
    ===
    Haha, yeah that was a bit odd. It was so odd I thought they got him to commit to giving up SS. Silly me. In hindsight, they probably just got him to announce his retirement in March to milk the swansong season. It’s always money, no?

    • the Other Steve S.

      I thought that was related to AAV on his prior comtract. A last bow to the 189M project.

    • RetroRob

      There is a story there that is not known.

      I don’t really care about Jeter, and I don’t mean that as an insult. When I look at the Yankee line up he is not my concern. He is in his final year and they’re going to play him. They have many other issues to focus on.

      Jeter is going to play. Any fan wasting his time obsessing on where Jeter bats in the order and how often is in for a world of disappointment and frustration, and frankly isn’t focused on the overall greater issue. The Jeter issue will be fixed. It has a ticking clock. The overall issues with the team should be of more concern to fans.

    • trr

      It’s good to be the Captain!

  • smart guy

    How about starting by firing kevin long.

    • jjyank

      I don’t think Long is the issue. These guys are almost all veteran players who have had success in the past. I don’t know how much impact a hitting coach can have on guys like that.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Kevin Long can’t help old people hit.

    • Tanuki Tanaka

      I don’t think he’ll be more willing to share his secret to eternal youth after getting canned.

  • Frank

    Pretty much suggested the same last week. The only reason the Yanks organization will draw people to watch this unwatchable product is because it’s Jeter’s last season. Otherwise, YS would be a ghost town come August when the Yanks will be near the bottom of the standings.

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    I suggested some of these things in the confidence thread and people jumped down my throat and called me a troll.

    Have to disagree that the Jeter solution is to move him UP in the order. This is really a disgrace that they can’t upset him and move him down when it’s obvious he’s not the same player he was. Sabmermetricians have been laughing at Dusty Baker for years when he would bat sub .300 OBP guys 1-2 in the order and here we are advocating the very same thing. I don’t care who the player is, if he’s hitting that poorly he should be moved down. Torre had no problem with batting A-Rod 8th.

    Agree on DFA Roberts, he’s worthless but so is Kelly Johnson. I advocated for carrying 3 catchers when Frankie returns. Frankie can’t do that much worse than Johnson as backup 1B. Sizemore at least brings defense and he’s hit when he’s been up here in limited action. Frankie has hit this year and last when he’s had a chance.

    Let’s see what Soriano does now that’s he’s just platooning vs lefties. Give it a month and see how he does in that role. Zolio isn’t going anywhere, if it doesn’t work then you make the switch.

    • trr

      Actually Eddard, I like your posts a lot more this year.
      However, I do see some merit in moving Jeter to #1 in the lineup.
      I see more merit in moving Jeter to #9, but we all know that ain’t gonna happen.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Creative and logical, with the result of an upgraded lineup and with no potential downside (that I can see, anyway).

    Which means . . . it won’t happen.

  • jjyank

    I agree with Mike’s proposed changes. As I argued in the fan confidence poll, I don’t know how realistic it is to call for Jeter to hit in the lower third of the order. A move to lead off might be best to both keep him in a prominent role and get him to stop making outs between better hitters.

  • No 2013 again

    Bat Jeter 9th and justify it by saying they need a second leadoff hitter lol

  • JLC 776

    I think the Jeter solution is great. His propensity to GIDP is startling, so putting him in a position that slightly decreases the chance for the rally-kill, while still keeping him in the limelight, is perfect.

    Chances of happening: 0%.

    • Kosmo

      Roberts leads the team with 9 GIDP with Jeter somewhere in the middle of the pack.

      • JLC 776

        Yeah, but Jeter puts the ball on the ground considerably more than Roberts. GO/AO ratio is 1.89(!!!!) for Jeter vs 0.83 for Roberts.

        • JLC 776

          And the GB/FB ratio is even funnier.

  • Kosmo

    It´s rumored that kelly Johnson might be on the trading block .

    • Yangeddard Solarte

      I’m sure there’s a long line of teams just waiting to gobble him up. .200 hitters are hard to come by, except in this lineup.

      • Kosmo

        LOL . Some teams might be looking to improve their respective benches and view Johnson a little bit different then NY does. KJs remaining contract would be taken up with another team, provided of course if anyone is interested. I doubt any player would be exchanged for him.

    • Rob S.

      Scott Sizemore and Zoilo Almonte? Those are your solutions? I wouldn’t be against these moves but I doubt they would help. Frankly I don’t think there’s really any moves to make that would make much impact. The bottom line is that guys that are already in the lineup need to step up and hit like the backs of the baseball cards. Nobody is asking them to do anything they haven’t already done in their careers. My first guy to dump would be Kelly Johnson. He’s been absolutely putrid in every facet of the game. Moving him to third won’t help. That’s not a natural position for him either.

      • Rob S.

        Sorry, this wasn’t meant to be a reply.

      • nyguy

        Agree with your take on Kelly Johnson. He’s been brutal at the plate and a butcher in the field. So has Soriano. In the game review thread I suggested replacing those two with Sizemore and Almonte. There aren’t a lot of options at this juncture but they can’t be worse at the plate and are definite defensive upgrades.

      • Hornblower

        Sizemore and Almonte are not solutions. Wheeler, Pirela, Roller and Garcia have a chance to upgrade this mess. The veteran major leaguers they signed namely Johnson, Sori, Roberts and Ichiro (7rbis) have done little. The minor league promotes Dellin, Solarte and Murphy have contributed. That’s the way to go.

      • http://Riveraveblues.com Rick

        Forget Sizemore, bring Pirela, Adonis and Zelous. Lets see if they can hit in the majors also. Roller may be a good call up. While you are there….Judge is scolding A-ball, bring him to AA.

    • Rob S.

      Would would they get for him? A bag of balls?

  • emac2

    Big couple of weeks coming up. I think we’re at a point where you have to decide if this team can do it or not. I don’t think they should make a big trade unless it’s a number 1 starter or offensive stud. Too many holes with a second year of overwhelming injuries.

    I think we’re about at the point where dropping a couple of major league players and seeing if we get lucky with some of the AA and AAA players is due. I know we have to be careful with the 40 man but Garcia, Wheeler, Roller and Sizemore are who they are. If they can maintain it in the majors, and yes, some players do as well or better after a promotion, they will be better than some of the guys up here who have proven what they can bring to the table. They can also be cut if they stink. They could also struggle but still give you what you’re getting now, but from a player who will be here next year.

    3 of the 4 were close to Solarte in spring training and any of them could play as well as he has over the next few months in the majors.
    It was funny reading that Wheeler hasn’t played in AAA long enough after reading that Solarte had played in AAA for too long. It’s all a guess until they fail a test.

    I would wait a little longer and highly value daily production going forwards but Roberts and Johnson going with Wheeler and Roller or Garcia being promoted sounds like a good start.

    The complicating factor will be Cervelli. He might be the best option to back up first so maybe Wheeler and Cervelli for Johnson and Roberts.
    Pitching wise it’s so ugly in the rotation it’s tough to figure out. Kelly for LeBlanc. Banuelos for Thornton in a few weeks pray for Pineda.

    If Tex and Beltran stay healthy or Pineda turns out to be fine we can make a run but otherwise let’s build something for next year. I would rather sign a FA starting pitcher for too much money, top off the farm with the IFA haul and see if we can find someone as good or better than Solarte who can start in the majors next year out of the group of prospects in AA and AAA.

    I would like to see Ref play this year in the majors instead of battling Wheeler and Solarte in spring training next year. He might not be ready to win it but if he’s close and shows it’s just a matter of time why do that next year unless you have too?

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Good post! If they’re not going to hit Roberts 2nd in the order against right-handers, agree, they should designate him. I think Roberts would shine in that role as he takes a lot of pitches, is a good H&R guy, & w/Ellsbury hitting in front of him, he’d see a lot more hittable pitches, so in theory, his #’s would go up and he’d be much more productive. Double the top of the order w/speed by hitting Gardner #9 at all times. Hit Jeter 8th against righties, and 2nd against lefties. At least there, I think the top of the order would hold it’s own, and then it’s up to the middle of the order guys to come through. If they stick w/ Roberts at 2nd and Solarte at 3b, deal or designate Kelly Johnson, and bring up Pirella or Wheeler to platoon w/Roberts at 2b against lefties. Fit Brendan Ryan in to rest Jeter when necessary. When Cervelli comes off the D/L, sent Murphy back to Scranton to get more a/b’s & split the catching gig there w/Romine, & use Cervelli to back up Tex at 1B when necessary.

  • Jersey Joe

    Although Soriano has been completely horrible, it’s important to remember that he had similar numbers BEFORE we acquired him from Chicago. Still, I think cutting him loose makes a ton of sense. Zolio did some damage a few weeks ago and I expect him to give simpatico production.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Eh, Soriano had a 71 wRC+ last June and a 74 wRC+ last April. He had a 28 wRC+ in April 2012 and a 35 wRC+ in July 2011.

    He looks cooked for a month or two every year. That doesn’t mean a hot streak isn’t coming.

    • Kosmo

      Soriano has, as far as I can tell, become a platoon player facing LHP exclusively. Unless something changes he´s not going to get many reps .

    • ChrisS

      Yeah, they should let him continue being an automatic out in case a 38 yo OFer can run into a couple in August when they’re 8 games out. It’s not like this team isn’t offensively challenged enough.

      • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

        All right! We’ll just get one of those awesome replacements we have waiting in the wings, and ignore the fact that Soriano has always been streaky and can get ridiculously hot at any time. Especially since games in August don’t count.

      • Wolfgang’s Fault

        Agreed! I’d still like to have Corey Black back. I’m sure Theo would be only too happy to oblige.

  • emac2

    I wrote that last comment before reading this article.

    The Jeter to leadoff idea might be the best compromise. Very interesting solution and I think I would do it.

    Almonte however doesn’t make sense. A lefty outfielder who hasn’t done very well?

    And a half season of Johnson for 8 home runs?

    Power is nice but you can give up anything for the power these guys bring.

    I can see Dropping roberts too but Johnson has never been a well rounded player he isn’t worth it at 1st and 3rd.

    Assuming future power from Johnson but cutting Soriano because he can’t do it full time is something else I disagree with. I wouldn’t cry if he was cut or traded but for I wouldn’t do it for Almonte, Johnson or Roberts. I would rather have the roster spot for tryouts.

    • JV

      NO MORE 1st INNING AUTOMATIC GRDP!!!

      • JV

        GIDP…

  • JV

    YES, YES and YES!!! Love it, let’s do it. Also good that one of the options isn’t fire Kevin Long. How can we blame him for Jeter, Roberts and Soriano being totally cooked and Teixeira and Beltran being hurt?

    • Sonnywithachance

      KC fired their hitting coach, the next two games they were on fire offensively. Then they remembered firing the hitting coach doesn’t suddenly make guys good. And now they stink again.

      The Mets fired their hitting coach too and they aren’t winning any more either.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    I agree on the Jeter move, though. It’ll mitigate his ability to kill rallies.

  • mitch

    Why is moving Jeter down in the lineup, or [gasp] moving him off SS such a big deal? This has happened to plenty of HOFers. Why is Jeter different?

    • Yangeddard Solarte

      This is what I’ve been saying. Ask yourself, is it really about winning? I don’t think it is if they continue to bat him 2nd. He’s hurting the ballclub.

      Remember how Jorgie was treated when his skills diminished? What about Bernie? Mariano and Andy stayed where they were because they were still productive. Jeter obviously isn’t the same ballplayer with age and the broken ankle taking its toll. There’s no shame in him batting 7th. Who cares what the media does. If Jeter’s a team guy he’ll say he agrees with the decision, end of story.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Because Dirk Diggler won’t shut up otherwise. He’s going to bludgeon Jeter into submission.

      • Dirk Diggler

        It’s a big deal because of Jeter’s big boy feelings and selling tickets

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Naming yourself after a movie character with a big dick and actually having one are two very different things, son.

          • Dirk Diggler

            Ah, so you have nothing then — got it.

            Boogie Nights is a great movie by the way, son.

    • trr

      Mitch, for the reasons Mike mentioned above. Jeter’s last year is too strong a marketing point for the team to pass up,at least in their veiw.

      In a nutshell, that’s my main critique of the team; they’ve become a corporate/marketing juggernaut off the field, and a very mediocre product on the field whose chief (only?) distinction is signing big-name, past their prime stars whose onerous long term contracts inevitably come back to bite us on our collective ass.

  • itsallhowuseeit

    All the sense in the world

  • CountryClub

    Jeter has been bad, but considering what was expected out of him this yr, he is FAR from the biggest problem in the lineup.

    I’m one of the fans that expected Jeter to hit in the .280 – .300 range this yr, and I still think he can get up there. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t have 1 last hot streak in him. But nobody in their right mind could have expected any real power out of him.

    • LK

      I think you’re right that no one expected real power out of Jeter this year, but having less power than literally every other player in MLB is an issue.

      • Sonnywithachance

        In addition the atrocious defense isn’t helping much. I would like to see him moved up or down. And I’m a huge DJ fan, heck my dog’s name is Jeter (no joke).

  • SamVa

    What would be the downside to giving Refsnyder a shot?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Getting even worse production from 2B and completely ruining the development of the org’s best hope for a long-term 2B?

      • The Great Gonzo

        So yeah, basically everything is a downside there.

        “BUT I’m hungry NOWWWWW!!!!”

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Send him to the Cardinals for a week.

      • Brett is Bubbas Son

        I have to disagree with you. Rob played enough College and MiLB at this point that even a few bad weeks with the big club shouldn’t ruin his development. Frankly I would think just the opposite.

        With a work ethic like his and the fact that he was undervalued in the Draft after a stellar College career (where he was undervalued as well being pushed off his position) a few weeks showing him that despite his strides he still needs to work would be a good thing.

        In fact from what I hear AAA is moving Jose Pirela to first base to clear room for Rob at Scranton. I have a feeling he gets moved in the next week or two. If he continues to do to AAA what he is doing in Trenton, he will be up shortly after the All-Star break.

        Frankly his number thus far in his minor league career have been better than Cano’s (Granted Robbie was 2 years younger at AA)

      • Daniel

        What about Pirela? Isn’t he the right mix of good and expendable to be given a chance at 2B?

      • ChrisS

        The Yankees ruin prospects by rushing them and they ruin them by holding them back. I think the negative connotations about ruining prospects is overblown and without sound evidence. They’re going to have to make adjustments. He’s handling ML quality pitches at AA. Can he handle them in ML? I don’t know. 300 ABs in AAA isn’t going to teach him how to make adjustments against ML pitching.

        The Yankees are wedded to their veterans, so it’s not going to happen, regardless. He could put up a 1.500 OPS in AA and he’s not pushing Roberts out this season.

        • WhittakerWalt

          This. Prospects either pan out or they don’t. Job a came up with a bunch of fanfare and blew away the league for about a year. Then he didn’t. Who knows why?
          But conventional wisdom holds that the Yankees “ruined” him, somehow.

          • WhittakerWalt

            *Joba

          • steven m zecca

            if joe would have woken up from his trance and pulled yanks off the field till the midges left, i think things would have turned out differently for joba

      • emac2

        Do you really think that is a big concern for Refsnyder?

        I agree he might hit worse than Roberts in which case we could send him down but the idea that an advanced player like him gets ruined by being overmatched at the plate for a couple of weeks is a hard one to buy.

        Any prospect who is crushed by a bad few weeks or a bad month was never a real prospect.

        I agree if we were talking about a player with language problems or a 19 year old out of high school but he’s been through big slumps, is a smart advanced player who is hitting very well. Offsetting that with old scouting dogma is like saying you have a feeling.

        • waneditor

          I listened to a Trenton game last week. Don’t remember the opponent, but they sent a reliever in late, rehabbing for a return to the major club. A RHP with a smokin’ fastball (97mph). Refsnyder had an 11-pitch AB against him, pulling a few of the pitches down the 3rd base foul line. He whiffed, but he wasn’t intimidated. Anyone else see or listen to that game?

  • Darren

    I get the frustration with such a weak hitting team.

    But is there one shred of evidence that Jeter would be “upset” if he was moved down in the lineup? Literally, one iota?

    • Mike HC

      If anything, Jeter should be upset they are trotting him out there in the two spot like some circus attraction. Putting a target on his back for all this teams ills.

  • Looser trader droids FotD™

    There is evil genius in the idea to bat Jeter lead off.

    FotD™: Cashman no longer has time to read RAB for ideas.

  • Mike HC

    Nice article, but moving Jeter to leadoff would be an even bigger farce than leaving him at number 2. Roberts definitely has to go. I would stick with Soriano and Johnson a bit longer solely due to our lack of power options. Keeping these guys provides slightly more hope in the power department than cutting them for nothing.

    I think even the Yankees must be approaching a tipping point though. I would honestly be more surprised if Jeter was still hitting at the top of the order in the next 2-3 weeks than if they move him down.

    • Yangeddard Solarte

      Yeah, you’ve got a 40 year old who doesn’t run well anymore and doesn’t get on base and the idea is to not move him down from #2 but to move him up to #1.

      It’s always been thought by sabmetricians that you want high OBP guys in the 1-2 slots so the best hitters actually have people to drive in. Is all of this overturned just because you don’t want to hurt Derek Jeter’s feelings? If Jeter is the team guy we think he is then he’ll say he agrees with Girardi moving him down, end of story.

  • Roy Munson

    I’m not so sure Girardi or Cashman have the authority to bat Jeter lower in the order.

    I like the Idea of having him hit first though

  • Tanuki Tanaka

    Let’s do a thought exercise, bear with me here until you read the whole thing.

    Say Jeter moved to the 9-hole and everyone in the lineup gets 3x the current bWAR on the batting side. (I know 62×3 = 186 but bear with me, I suck at math, also I know some players are injured. ) For the purpose of this exercise, we only count the number of at bats for everyone not named Gardner or Ellsbury, since they wont be getting too many more at bats if Jeter moves down.

    http://www.baseball-reference......2014.shtml
    Solarte ends up with 5.4, Teix 2.7, Roberts 1.2, Ichiro 1.2, Jeter 1.2, JRM .9, McCann 0.6, Beltran and Sizemore 0.3, KJ still 0.

    http://www.baseball-reference......2005.shtml
    Via 2005 NYY, maybe the top of the lineup gets 150 or so PA more than the 9-hole hitter.
    For simplicity’s sake, say all 150pa goes to Solarte, and each season is 650 PA

    WAR divided by 650 = WAR per PA
    WAR per PA times 150 = WAR per 150 PA

    Bracket is just to avoid confusion. Technically no brackets are needed here.
    (5.4/650)x150-(1.2/650)x150=1.25-.28 = 0.97

    It’s oversimplification but really, the best case scenario from it (since Solarte is doing better than expected and Jeter is doing worse than some expected) is roughly around 1 win gained.

    So overall it’s just a matter of whether that one win will be worth it in the real world, given the complications and intangibles that occurs if Jeter is moved down in the order.

    • El Maestro

      Having Jeter hitting 2nd WILL cost this team more than 1 win. I know yesterday’s game wasn’t lost all because of Jeter, but having him in the 2nd slot flat out killed like 3 rallies. And it was situations when even not getting a hit would have scored a run.

      The guy is absolutely killing us, as I said in a previous comment

      • Tanuki Tanaka

        Still in theory he will kill rallies no matter where he bats, and I’m not math-y enough to figure out how much more likely he is going to kill rallies batting second. Him batting 9th also means there wouldn’t been a rally to begin with, mind you, since batting 2nd means someone from 8 9 or 1 reached base, which is where Jeter might bat if he were to move.

        • emac2

          I like this angle

          The argument for batting him 9th is you get to replace a lot of his at bats

          The argument for 1st is that he gets those extra at bats but can never hit into a first inning double play.

          If you look at him batting leadoff and view the first at bat strictly from an on base perspective. He is basically as good as anyone we would have hit for him, can’t hurt you via DP and has pretty good speed.

          The rest of his at bats would be the same as if he was starting in the 9 spot.

          Batting him 9th would free up one at bat per game compared to 1st and, assuming you can’t plan ahead to make it a pinch hitter, (not that this matters with this roster) the idea of getting him out of the two spot and at least making his first at bat based on OBP alone where he is league average or better isn’t much worse than putting him in the 9 spot.

          I like it the more I think about it.

        • Mikhel

          “Mike Axisa:
          there really isn’t another viable MLB outfield option in Triple-A”.

          I think Wheeler is still at AAA, he plays OF in winter leagues, more specifically LF, and he is good fielding. He can also play 3B but was displaced when Yuniesky Sánchez, a cuban, arrived to the team and Yuni has a lot of power and is very good fielding at 3B.

          • Mikhel

            what the hell? it was supposed to be a new post LOL

    • mitch

      What are the complications? Is Jeter going to hold some sort of lifetime grudge if they move him a few spots down in the order and limit his innings in the field?

      • Tanuki Tanaka

        I personally believe in intangibles, with morale, different mindset and

        I’m not saying batting in a different order changes the world, but you never know. Some players have admitted that batting at Fenway either altered or ruined their swing, so it is reasonable to think that some players might try too hard in an “RBI” spot instead of “getting on base” spot.

        Secondly, baseball is a business, so there are obvious economic and PR problems that may arise from sending him to the 9 hole. I think most of us here commenting on RAB are better than that, but fair-weather fans and faraway fans buy stuff too, and a considerable portion of them are fixated on one or two players.

        Lastly, Jeter himself. How can the situation be handled correctly and is it just much easier to not banish him to the bottom? How would he react to it? I think that Jeter’s mind is still in it but his body can’t handle it anymore, so will his mindset change negatively? Will his mindset change positively after finally getting moved down thing over with and being able to focus on baseball and baseball only?

        90% of baseball is half-mental. For the record I wouldn’t be too surprised if the team starts to do a bit better after the burden is off their mind, but it’s equally possible that they do a bit worse collectively.

    • emac2

      It’s oversimplfication. Really.

      It could very easily add several wins. Stats don’t predict end result when chance is involved.

      It could easily cost or gain several wins and you can never find out how it would have worked out the “other” way. You can add stats or assume outcomes from averages.

      • Tanuki Tanaka

        When the season’s over we’ll all get to wonder what would happen if this situation is handled differently, if handled at all. I personally wish they’d just get it over with and outright say something after the ASG, since I doubt they’d say anything about it before the ASG, when it may affect Jeter’s chances.

        Until then we’ll get to enjoy this repetitive argument all over Yankees Universe. Huzzah.

    • Tom

      Good analysis.

      Couple of questions/issues:
      1) Chaining matters a bit. Each spot does incrementally get more AB’s if you move Jeter down. It’s not huge but when every hitter is getting a few extra AB’s it starts to add up. This isn’t simply swapping one player for another. You are only simply swapping 2 players and assume spots 3-8 get no extra AB’s correct?

      2) Hits are context free in WAR, it is not context free in a lineup. A single in the 2nd spot does not have the same value as a single in the 8th or 9th spot. I have no clue how to start modeling that or the actual impact of that, but if you are really interested you can do a search on lineup optimization tools and I think there are some public lineup estimators which allow you to input actual hitting stats (to be clear, this is not meant as snark) You can see the impact of chaining and context more clearly with that – I won’t even start to guess at how much of an impact this might be. I think the public ones are also context free, but they do account for extra, or fewer PA’s across the lineup (which would address #1).

      3) When dealing in tenths of WAR, multiplying by 3 can be problematic (especially for smaller #’s). The difference between 0.04 and 0.05 becomes 0.3 WAR once you round (0 WAR and 0.1 WAR) and then multiply by 3. As many of the players are in this range, you run the risk of a lot of rounding issues which could be quite significant – this could cut in either direction.

      I suspect the impact is probably less that one win, but if it 1 win – that is pretty significant and getting it for “free” (no prospect cost, no money, no absorbing a bad contract for multiple years), why wouldn’t you grab it?

  • Paisa

    I guess I agree with this proposed shakeup. But the direction this organization has taken over the course of the last 2 maybe 3 years has left me…..puzzled and confounded to an extreme point.

    They put what was probably one of the 5 worst products in baseball on the field last season not in the name of operating more efficiently but to simply save money. I know they were in contention until the end, but that was a miracle – an absolute miracle. For 2 years we heard all about the self-imposed budget. About how this team was going to negate its biggest advantage over the rest of baseball for…..

    All of this nonsense, only to blow past those spending restrictions with complete abandon this offseason. And in the process of throwing the restrictions out the window and dropping $500 mill on the market, they failed to sign the best player in that market! And that player was Robby Cano, their own homegrown superstar!

    I don’t get it. I really don’t. I told myself that I would relish this last season of the Jeter era, but I will welcome with open arms the relief that comes with its ending. More than ever, I think that the end of this season (and this era) must coincide with a major management shake-up. This team certainly needs to move on from the ill-advised strategy and the multitude of mistakes that have been made the last 2 to 3 years.

  • cooolbreeez

    I’m embarassed to be half wishing for an extended DL stint for Jeter. He is flat out hurting the team.

    • Darren

      Who’s your everyday starting shortstop if Jeter gets injured?

      • The Great Gonzo

        Obviously Refsnyder, because a kid who’s never payed above AA, nor is he a SS by trade, can’t be any worse than a guy who’s been doing it for 2 decades… AmiRite?

        • Hornblower

          Ref. is a poor infielder. He will play the outfield, his natural position, in the majors.

      • mitch

        I would never wish a DL stint for Jeter, but I think they’d be better overall if Ryan played full time.

      • cooolbreeez

        Brendan Ryan would be an upgrade. Wouldn’t move the needle on the won/loss record but I hate to see Jeter embarassing himself.

        • Tanuki Tanaka

          So “mercy-dling” per se.

  • The Great Gonzo

    I am surprised that Mike didn’t mention it (maybe he did and I missed it…) but the Yankees have set precedent here before, namely last time they signed a “true leadoff hitter” and Jeter was killing his mojo with his GIDP ways. Damon batted second while Jeter led off, and the experiment worked…

    And by worked, I obviously mean it didn’t fix Jeter but it stopped sucking out of Damon’s production.

    I can dig these moves, although I am not completely sold on cutting Soriano yet. Its an expensive gamble, but as others here have mentioned, he does tend to heat up as the season goes on. And if ANYONE in the game can go on a tear and carry the Yankees for an extended period of time, its Soriano.

    Ironically, roughly 12 months ago, people around these parts were calling for Ichiro’s head… now he is part of the solution for sending Soriano out to pasture.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Would have loved a healthy Flores to bring up instead of Zoilo.

    I believe in Sori. He shouldn’t be in there every day right now, though. Beltran’s elbow stuff is killing us here.

    Fine with the rest.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

      I believe in Soriano myself, but if we’re going to DFA Roberts, Soriano and/or Johnson, I’d have to take the hot hand and grab Adonis Garcia. The kid’s 29, if he has anything left to prove, this would be the time.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I have zero belief in my countryman, Adonis. Sorry. I’d much rather see Flores or Zoilo there….hell, I’d take a healthy Slade in that spot.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

          Flores is on the DL and right now Almonte needs consistent AB.

        • Wolfgang’s Fault

          Why so high on Adonis? You see him play?

  • TWTR

    There is no reason why Jeter can’t be gently told he is batting down in the order v. RHP, and it’s a little amazing, that he hasn’t talked to Girardi on is own to do it.

  • Derek Jeter (im old, leave me alone)

    Blow this team up…

  • TWTR

    RAB last November

    Via Jon Heyman: Hal Steinbrenner has spoken to Derek Jeter and explained to him the Yankees will look for a starting shortstop this winter in the wake of his injury-riddled season.

    So it was ok to tell Jeter they were looking for a starting SS, but now they can’t even tell him to move down v. RHP?

    That’s beyond goofy.

    • I’m One

      Based on the above (which did actually happen), the team has decided it is best to keep Jeter hitting 2nd. We don’t know all the reasons the team makes the decisions it makes, but to think they’re afriad to speak with Jeter about it is idiotic.

      • TWTR

        If true, that is just one of the many bad decision that is hurting this franchise.

        Idiotic? What’s more idiotic than continuing to make decisions that hurt their chances of winning?

        I will answer my own question: NOTHING.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Shhh. Don’t mess with the narrative.

        Dirk Diggler has bigger nuts than Brian Cashman. That’s why one works for the Yankees, while the other….

        • TWTR

          If it’s merely a narrative, what is the correct explanation?

  • Pinedamaybegreata (formerly Monterowasdinero)

    Really amazing how our offense has gotten so anemic so quickly. Cano, Swisher and Granderson aren’t doing much and ARod is through powerwise so not sure what the answer could have been in the last two offseasons. Tex’s power production has been fortunate considering injury + usual slow start. Agree with getting rid of Soriano and Roberts. They should have signed Morales-power from both sides sorely needed.

    As for Jeter-why not DH him more and more to keep his statue off the infield defense? You could also bat him and his ego 3rd once in a while behind Gardy/Ellsbury and make sure those guys get to 2nd base before the Captain hits his grounder dp ball or flyball single to right field. Also hit and run with Jeter if either of those two are on 1B ahead of him..

    No great answer but 90% of fans this year come to see Jeter play first and Yanks win second….

  • Dave

    Move Jeter to the 7,8 or 9 spot and bat Gardner and Ellsbury 1 and 2. Replace Jeter in the 8th and 9th for defense. Who would hit in the 3 hole is a big question. I would also hire someone from the St. Louis organization to show the yankees how to run a major league team.

    • TWTR

      Several someones.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

      Just because it works for the Cardinals does not mean it works for the Yankees. All 30 teams are distinctive in how they handle things, i.e.

      Mets – $85MM payroll in a big market, yeah no.
      Yankees – spend the wazoo to make championship.
      Cardinals – Use excellent scouts to draft and develop the right players.
      Athletics – Don’t spend a damn thing but make good teams out of bits and pieces.

      • TWTR

        “Just because it works for the Cardinals does not mean it works for the Yankees. All 30 teams are distinctive in how they handle things, i.e…

        Cardinals – Use excellent scouts to draft and develop the right players.”

        That’s the point, isn’t it? How can that not be a positive, at least in some way, for any organization?

        Recent CBAs have increasingly enabled small revenue teams to keep their best players longer. That prevents the Yankees from signing some of these players, when in the past, that has allowed them to compensate for poor development.

        Development has become a necessity. So why not hire people with a demonstrated track record of success?

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

          Because people aren’t miracle workers.

          • TWTR

            Why does the bar have to be set so impossibly high?

            Even incremental improvement in the Yankees’ ability to develop in-house would be dramatic improvement at this point.

            This isn’t some trademarked secret. Very competent people are likely to have success wherever they work.

  • The Guns of Navarone

    Maybe it’s just me (and it is), but I really don’t get how dropping Jeter in the lineup is this unforgivable insult. The guy is 40 years old for Christ’s sake and finally hitting like it. But he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer. Will dropping him in the batting order in his age 40 season all of a sudden taint his legacy and totally RUIN his final season? I just don’t get it.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

      OMG DRAMAHZ

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      They eventually dropped Mattingly and O’Neill in the lineup in both players last years. Gotta think it will happen at some point.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

    I will add though, the comment by Brian Cashman the other day of

    “We’re just trying to move this thing along. If there are guys struggling in New York, I can’t wait.”

    This could be interesting. Right now at least Pinstripe Alley & LoHud have dived into what that could have meant.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

      This is of course why you read the rest of the blog.

    • hey now

      Sadly, it doesn’t mean jack shit. Cashman has had years and years and a king’s ransom in payroll to construct a viable lineup, and this is the train wreck that has resulted.

      The only substantive change that will have a meaningful effect begins with the man calling the shots.

  • Hornblower

    Batting order are irrelevant. Roberts, Johnson and Sori can’t hit anywhere in the order. Ichiro has 7 rbi’s hitting down in the order. Replace the players and where they hit doesn’t matter.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

      Humorously, I’ve noticed Solarte and Ichiro at 6 and 7 do very well complimenting each other, which is where I’d put them.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Yes, actually it can. It depends on the players and the context. Actually think Roberts is a better guy to hit behind the leadoff hitter, and Johnson needs more A/B’s. They’ve gotta decide which one of these guys goes and which one stays. If they decide to move Solarte to 2b, Roberts should go. If Solarte stays at 3b, deal Johnson, bring up Pirella or Wheeler to Platoon w/Roberts. Against right-handers, Roberts should hit second in the lineup & Jeter gets dropped to 8-hole. Against Left-handers, Pirella or Wheeler plays 2b, and Jeter hits 2nd. Ellsbury leads off all the time, and Gardner hits 9th all the time. If Solarte is moved to 2B, platoon Johnson at 3b w/either Sizemore or Wheeler. Either one would be a more efficient lineup. Regardless, if the middle of the order guys don’t stay healthy or hit, it won’t matter.

  • John D

    Love this piece and totally agree that a shakeup is badly needed.

    However, I doubt any of these things will actually happen. MAYBE they show Roberts the door in favor of Wheeler or Sizemore (either is fine with me). Their chance to dump Soriano came and went with the Twins’ signing of Morales. There is just no way they bring up Almonte to replace him. Joe G loves him some match ups.

    and Jeter, I don’t know. Is there any chance he and Joe and Cash had a man to man before the season where they discussed giving him half the season/to the AS Break to give him a chance to prove himself and evaluate where he was physically and productivity wise? In other words, he asked them to give him the benefit of the doubt for half a season and if it wasn’t working, he promised to not make a big fuss about being moved to 7th against RHSP? That is the only way I could see him moving. Stays at #2 vs. LHSP but moves down to 7th vs. lefties and Joe and Cash take all the media heat associated with it. A lot of “we understand Jetes isn’t happy about it, but it’s our decision … this is all about the team and winning … we feel this move makes us better as a team”, etc etc. With Jeter’s message being something along the lines of “I’m obviously not happy about it, but it’s their call and if they think it improves our chances of winning games, then I respect it etc etc…”. Becomes a 1 day story and we all move on.

    As others have said here, it’s been done before with all time greats and recent Yankees. It may not be as bad as we think.

    • I’m One

      It’s been pointed out, a coule of times, that one of the big draws this season is to see Jeter in his final season. I tend to agree with that. Therefore, keeping him batting near the top of the order is probably in Hal & Hank’s best interest. I don’t think it has anything to do with how well he is or isn’t hitting, nor do I think it will matter much with the number of games they win this season. That falls more on McCann, Teix, Ells and the others that contribute to the team. I’m sure they didn’t expect a lot from him this year (but probably more than he has produced so far).

      • TWTR

        I don’t understand how batting Jeter near the top of the lineup is a bigger draw than winning.

        • Sonnywithachance

          I concur with TWTR. I don’t care where Jeter bats if the team isn’t winning, people aren’t coming. It has gotten to the point where I stop following games now if the opposition gets 3 or more runs. You know the yanks aren’t coming back.

          If you field a winner, you can bat Jeter 9th, standing on his head, with chicken shoved up is ass (Yeah Jeets, Yeah Jeets!). People will come out to the park.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I think people want to see Derek one last time. I think most people could give a ray’s ass where he’s batting when they come see him. I’d be fine with a shot of him in the dugout hanging out.

          • TWTR

            Yeah, I think that’s exactly right.

  • Bo Knows

    The shakeup I think also applies to prospects like Pirela and Refsnyder. The Yankees are trying to Pirela at 1st so they will both a more viable backup to Tex as well as so they can get Refsnyder into AAA where it’s painfully obvious he needs to be right now

    • TWTR

      That makes sense, but I am not sure why Roller isn’t getting a shot.

  • hey now

    “Even Ben Revere has hit for more power.”

    Perhaps the saddest sentence I have ever read.

    • divelly

      A good time for Jeter to retire would be after the All Star Game!

  • NYYfanINATL

    I agree, Soriano has to go. His AB’s have been hard to even watch. However, definitely disagree with moving Jeter up OR getting rid of Roberts.

    Kelly Johnson is a left handed Dave Kingman and either strikes out or once in a while runs into a bad pitch. He’s an average defender at best playing out of position no less. Roberts can at least play 2B, run a little and give a tough AB.

    Joe needs to “nut up” and do what’s best for the team….and that is move Jeter DOWN in the lineup. A new lineup of: Ells, Solarte, Beltran, Tex, McCann, Jeter, Roberts, Ichiro and Gardy is better than what they’re running out now. Why?

    You paid Ells as the best leadoff hitter in the game…let HIM lead off! Solarte in the 2 hole can actually knock him in. Plus, you’d have Roberts, Ich, Gardy and Ells in a row so you’d have a speed element. It’s not much, but it could be a start.

    • Sonnywithachance

      I agree, I think Roberts actually has a shot at getting going. I don’t believe Sori has another magic hot streak in him. Johnson, who I thought would add some pop and play a decent 3B while backing up at 1B, has been edward scissorhands. He K’s more than I thought. Maybe, just maybe with regular playing time, Johnson could get into a rhythm, but right now, I would hold onto Roberts and dump Johnson and Sori.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    For the last month or so, people have been talking needing another starter (Hammel, Samardjiza, Lee, etc…). Whether we have enough to get any of those pitchers is irrelevant at this point.

    They can’t make a move for another starter until they figure out if this offense will hit at all this year. Beyond trying to dump Soriano and B-Rob, they need to figure out if this is the McCann we’re stuck with…if Beltran is going to be a husk of himself all season….if Tex’s wrist is going to be an issue ALL season long or whether the “natural healing process” is almost done.

    If all these issues are not going to improve, it doesn’t matter about trying to add a starter or bench piece. If this is a 2.67 runs scored per game team, it’s not going to go anywhere anyways.

    Give Zoilo a good long look. Get KJ a lot of at-bats per week. Go from there. Not optimistic, but not replete with options at this point.

  • KD

    Yanks had no problem moving Jorge down in the lineup as his production waned. If Jeter is more special than Posada was, I for one just don’t see it.

  • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

    It’s kind of sad that we are talking about cutting Roberts, yet the player that is currently play worse, both defensively and offensively is getting the talk of moving up in the lineup. s

  • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

    Joe needs to man up and tell Jeter that he will be moving down. I’m not saying he should be buried, but he shouldn’t be that high.

    Gardner
    Ellsbury
    Teix
    Beltran
    McCann
    Jeter
    Solarte
    Ichiro
    Roberts

    Does a pretty good job of splitting r/l, but also is letting jeter hit right after the meat of the order. He is going to miss his last season postseason, because he needs to be at the top.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      And I’m actually kind of happy this is his last year. It’s obvious he isn’t what he once was, but they are treating him like he is. He is basically getting the same treatment that Rollins was getting. He was really hurting his team in the leadoff role, and I hated that Philly still insisted on it. Low obp and low power guy shouldn’t be #2.

  • fred robbins

    Jeter gives gift baskets.

  • Mikhel

    Mike Axisa:
    there really isn’t another viable MLB outfield option in Triple-A”.

    I think Wheeler is still at AAA, he plays OF in winter leagues, more specifically LF, and he is good fielding. He can also play 3B but was displaced when Yuniesky Sánchez, a cuban, arrived to the team and Yuni has a lot of power and is very good fielding at 3B.

  • RetroRob

    The fact that the solution to the problem means clumping the team’s best hitters together, and three of the four are Gardner, Ellsbury and Solarte says a lot. Nothing wrong with those players at all, but it highlights what’s lacking and gets back to what I wrote above on why Jeter is not the problem.

    Like many, I sometimes wonder how much better the offense would be if Cano was still here. I understand why he’s not, but he’d certainly make them better. Yet…if Cano was here, it’s very unlikely Solarte would be, either by the Yankees choice or Solarte’s, who has a 1.4 fWAR compared to Cano’s 1.3.

  • The Other Matt

    Lineup for tonight, Soriano is batting cleanup. I’m sure a lot of RAB commenters are probably hoping that the game is rained out. LOL

  • neaks

    I know our offense is down a ton, but what do the league-wide offense stats look like? It feels like offense is down a little across the board, but that may be because I’m watching too many yankee games.

    • Katlak

      And the league-wide offensive teams should be bashed across the board for it. It’s the hitters fault why team batting averages are down, because of the selfishness to beat the shifts.

  • chuck

    A rain out still might not help

  • chuck

    A rain out still might not help this sorry offense

  • wilcymoore27

    I’m all aboard with Mike’s suggested changes. Do Brian Cashman or Joe Girardi read this blog?

  • Katlak

    Selfishness to NOT beat the shifts is what I meant.

  • John Herbert

    With more than one-third of the season gone, its time for some honesty.

    The 2013 Yanks had a certain chemistry and for the most part, they were fun to watch. There is no team chemistry on the 2014 Yankees and they aren’t fun to watch!

    McCann and Beltran have been big disappointments. Didn’t figure either one would tear up the league, just steady hitting game after game. Cashman should have kept Mark Reynolds, cause Kelly Johnson stinks. Brian Roberts looks frail and his talent is almost gone. Brenden Ryan is a joke.

    Ellsbury was hired to be the leadoff hitter and team spark and should not be in the 3rd slot. Jeter needs to be dropped to 6th or 7th in the order and Gardner needs to bat second. Solarte is one of the few true bright spots in an otherwise lifeless offensive season.

    The rotation needs some help. Tanaka, Kuroda and Whitley can’t carry the whole load. Nunno and Phelps are long relivers and spot starters at best and won’t last the season.

    Its near time for Cashman to get some deals in the works or the best we Yankee fans can hope for is the 2015 season.

  • John

    I’d agree with your premise except for Gardner who K’s 1 out of every 4 AB’s. They Can NOT have him at the top of the Order under any circumstance. He sucks as a Lead Off Batter (see his OBP) and Has absolutely NO instincts when it comes to stealing bases. He’s more equipped skill wise to hit 6th or 7th in this or any lineup. Totally agree with the Platooning @ 3b and RF. I’ve been saying the same for over a Month and for Jeter 2nd or 1st makes sense. One thing the Team HAS to address is 1B when Tex needs a day for his wrist. Kind of Stupid this wasn’t done before the Season began.