Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spring Ahead: Who’s hitting 2nd for the Yankees?

Among the (very) few debates for the Yankees in spring training will be who is going to hit 2nd in the batting order. So far there haven’t been any hints from skipper Joe Girardi (which considering that most of the every day players haven’t even reported yet is not surprising) but I also don’t know if there are a lot of good choices.

I would say that odds are you are going to see Derek Jeter batting leadoff… which then brings you to wonder who would hit 2nd, which is normally Jeter’s position in the order. Looking at the roster, I would say that the best idea would be to put Nick Johnson and his fantastic .400 on-base-percentage at the number 2 spot. Yes, Johnson is slow as molasses, but he’ll be on base a lot for the power bats of Alex Rodriguiez and Mark Teixeira which means more runs. I don’t think Brett Gardner has the stick to bat leadoff, but as a young and speedy player it’s not out of the question to see if he could handle that spot.

The issue here for the Yankees realy comes to this… Johnson could very well follow his normal MO and spend a large chunk of the season on the DL and Jeter could very well see his .334 batting average from last year come down to anywhere from .325 to .300 (which would still be pretty darn good) which means you really could see a serious reduction in production from the table setting spots in the Yankee line-up, meaning less opportunity for A-Rod and Teixeria to drive in runs. Just something to consider for the Yanks who don’t really have a hell of a lot to worry about in spring training this year.

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