The lineups that manager Joe Girardi has trotted out since Carlos Beltran went on the DL have not gotten the job done. Game after game in which the Yankees cannot score runs have come and gone. Since May 13, the Yankees have scored more than 4 runs exactly once. The offense is letting down a make-shift pitching staff that has been much better than expected. Yet Joe Girardi refuses to make the necessary changes.
First of all, the Yankees need to move Jacoby Ellsbury out of the three hole and back to the lead-off position. He is pressing at the plate to drive in runs and he has no power to speak of. He needs to be at the very top of the order setting the table for the power hitters and run producers. That is where he can take advantage of his speed as well.
Derek Jeter can stay in the two hole simply because there is no better alternative. Brian Roberts has actually grounded into more double plays than Jeter. Putting both Ellsbury and Gardner together would also be problematic. It condenses the speed in the lineup and reduces the options available later in the lineup. Lastly, it’s Jeter’s final season and I see no point in dropping him down in the order to seventh or eighth, which is where he would have to hit if not second, unless he starts to really slump at the plate. A future Hall of Famer hitting .260 without power is fine for the two hole. Plus he can still work the count and help get a starter’s pitch count up.
Replacing Ellsbury in the third spot should be Mark Teixeira, who has been the best power hitter in the lineup this season. Alfonso Soriano, despite his struggles this season, belongs in the cleanup spot. He is a very streaky hitter who can get hot at any time. In the fifth spot, I propose putting the most consistent Yankee hitter this season, Yangervis Solarte. Solarate has been nothing short of amazing this season. The Yankees need to take full advantage of his improbable season and bat him higher in the lineup and let him drive in runs.
The bottom part of the lineup should flow from Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, Brian Roberts to Ichiro in the nine hole. I know there are back to back lefties in the lineup twice with McCann and Gardner and then Ichrio and Ellsbury. But I don’t care. I want to maximize the at-bats for the table setters in table setter spots and run producers in run producing spots. The Yankees need to juggle the lineup and put their hitters in the best position to succeed.