Bomber Bites With Jumping Joe–Are the Yankees Too Left Handed?


With the signing of Stephen Drew to a one year deal this week, the Yankees can now theoretically field a completely left handed hitting lineup.  Such an occurrence has only happened three time in Yankee previously (April 4, 2014, Aug. 3, 1983 and Sept. 29, 1976), but with the aid of some switch hitters manager Joe Girardi could send out a daily lineup featuring nothing but lefty bats against righties. 

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The all lefty lineup would probably look something like this:

Jacoby Ellsbury (8)

Brett Gardner (7)

Carlos Beltran (9)

Brian McCann (2)

Mark Teixeira (3)

Chase Headley (5)

Garrett Jones (0)

Didi Gregorius (6)

Drew (4)

Left handed hitters will always fare well at Yankee Stadium where the short porch remains as inviting as ever.  However, the Yankees will still play half their games on the road.  They also appear to be very vulnerable to left handed pitching.

It is true that many of the tougher leftie starters have vacated the AL East including Jon Lester and David Price.  However, a lefty heavy lineup can make an average or good lefty, such as the Red Sox’s Wade Miley, Tampa’s Drew Smyly or Baltimore’s Wei-Yin Chen, appear great on a given day.

In addition, there is the threat of lefty relievers late in games.  Opposing managers will be able to use their LOOGYs against multiple hitters with little help available on the Yankee bench.  While the potential reserves will likely all be right handed hitters, the options of Alex Rodriguez, John Ryan Murphy, Chris Young, and Brendan Ryan will not strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.

The Yankees seem to be counting on a revitalized Rodriguez to be a major right handed power threat off the bench who can devastate left handed pitching.  Amongst all the left handed and switch hitters they truly lack right handed power.  Teixeira and Beltran may be switch hitters, but their current versions are a shell of their former selves.

Hopefully, GM Brian Cashman still has a few moves up his sleeve to acquire a legitimate right handed threat to balance out the lineup.  Even without using an all-lefty lineup, the Yankees are hopelessly and needlessly unbalanced to the left.  This is a weakness that is certain to be exposed and yet one that is correctable.