Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees, mixed up his line up last night against the Athletics. He batted Brett Gardner in the first spot and Jeter second. The move seems to make sense in that besides Cano, Gardner has been the Yankees top on base guy from the ninth spot. The Yankees won the game 3-1 thanks to a nice performance by Vazquez with just enough runs off of Ben Sheets, who pitched well. But Gardner went 0-4. Here's why the Fan doesn't like it.
First, Gardner has been like the Yankees' secret weapon. In the ninth spot, he's like a second lead off batter and accounts for a lot of ribbies for Jeter, Swisher, Teixeira and A-Rod. Now you take that secret weapon and force him to the top of the line up where the pitcher will bear down on him more. Plus, Jeter is prone to the double-play ball as he hits a lot of grounders. So keeping Gardner in front of Jeter still keeps that in play.
It would have been better to either put Gardner in the seventh spot after Cervelli or keep him ninth where he's done so much damage. Jeter is bound to get hot here soon. He always does, so the Fan would leave him batting lead off. Granderson should bat ninth as his production doesn't rank anything higher than that. But if he does get on, he serves the speed value just the same as Gardner did.
We'll see how it all plays out as the manager is usually smarter than the writer. But one thing is nice and that is during Spring Training, we were all wondering if Gardner would get enough at bats to show what he can do. Not only has he gotten those at bats, but now he's become a quandary as to where to bat him.