December 7, 2013

2014 Projected Yankees lineup

With all of these moves, where does that leave the Yankees’ lineup? I don’t think the Yankees are done dealing, but I expect any remaining moves to affect the rotation or bullpen more than the lineup. So, here’s where they stand.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Carlos Beltran RF
4. Brian McCann C
5. Alfonso Soriano DH*
6. Mark Teixeira 1B
7. Kevin Youkilis 3B**
8. Brett Gardner LF
9. Kelly Johnson 2B

Two key assumptions:
*Soriano, Jeter, Beltran and McCann should split time at DH (per Sherman).
**Remember that guy Alex Rodriguez? If the season started tomorrow, technically he would be the starting third baseman.

Quick comparison to last year’s most common lineup, ordered by position (via B-R).

Chris Stewart C
Lyle Overbay 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 3B
Vernon Wells LF
Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Travis Hafner DH


More 2014 lineup thoughts…

– It will be great to have Carlos Beltran, a switch-hitter, to join Teixeira in the middle of the lineup to give the Yankees some flexibility. 

– Sadly, I really have doubts about Jeter’s ability to stay on the field in 2014. From 2004 to 2012, Jeter missed a combined 85 games. In 2013, he missed 145 games. Adding a talented, versatile infielder like Omar Infante makes a lot of sense.

– If Jeter proves to be as ineffective or unhealthy as last year, does it make sense to hit Ellsbury and Gardner back-to-back at 1-2? They’re both speedy lefties, but their righty-lefty splits aren’t that bad. Still, Joe Girardi likes to alternate, so I’d be surprised if he does it. I think it’s worth trying out. I keep thinking ‘03 WS with Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo at the top. Castillo was a switch-hitter, but both stole bases in bunches like Ellsbury and Gardner do.

– Beltran is clearly the top candidate for the No. 3 spot to replace Cano. However, I could see  4-5-6 fluctuate quite a bit based on performance. McCann has averaged about 115 games over the last three seasons, but that was with the Braves in the National League – no DH. It will be interesting to see how hard Girardi pushes McCann in the first year of his five-year deal.

– Overall, I’m very confident this lineup would score more runs than last year’s did. One little problem: how often are we really going to see this lineup (or some other arrangement of these players)? The average Opening Day age of these nine players is 34.

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