A Close Examination of the Yankees Lineup


It is no secret that Brian Cashman has wheeled-and-dealed his way through the 2015 off-season. It may not feel like a typical New York Yankees off-season, because there hasn’t been a, or a series of, big name signings, but in reality the Yankees weren’t all that quiet. They addressed three of the major issues from last season: depth, age, and money.

The onslaught of health woes in 2014 left the Yankees scrambling for plug-ins, which eventually result in multiple players playing out of position. Cashman went out and acquired players that would be able to step in at any moment and limit the damage if the injury bug rears its head again this season. However, now that the Yankees have a completely different roster in 15′, what does that mean for the production of certain players?

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Let’s take a look at the lineup. Now that Derek Jeter‘s farewell tour is over and he is officially retired, that leaves room for Girardi to tinker. In my opinion, Girardi felt obligated to bat the Captain high in the lineup. Jeter was well beyond his prime and caused more harm than good in the two-hole.

I believe that we will finally see one of the deadliest one-two combinations in Brett “The Jet” Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. I think Gardner will get back to a .400 OBP this season because he will have protection behind him. He will work the count and see mostly fastballs for him to slap at. Ellsbury will have another All-Star season, and boast a .450 slugging percentage with 20+ home runs, 80+ RBI’s, and 35+ stolen bases.

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Alex Rodriguez will be take his place at DH this season and don’t expect much from the 40 year-old. His production has been on the decline and he did not see live pitching in over a year. I expect Rodriguez to be late on fastballs and watch curveballs up until he loses his grasp on the DH spot like he did the hot corner.

Chase Headley will be there for next four seasons with his re-signing and look for him to try to regain his youth. He won’t be his 115 RBI 2012 self but I think he provides consistency in a lineup that needs it. Headley will look to boast a slash line of .280/.390/.400 which was close to his limited time with the Yankees last season. He will most likely bat in the middle of the lineup.

A lot of the pressure for the offense will come down to the big three power bats. Brian McCann will need to overcome is dismal 2014 and regain his confidence at the plate. He will be a key offensively and defensively. Hopefully the responsibility of grooming the young pitchers and calling a games around the veterans won’t hinder his mentality at the plate. I am expecting McCann to have an outstanding 2015. His numbers will be somewhere near a Silver Slugger season and that means 20+ home runs and 80+ RBI’s.

However, it wouldn’t hurt for others to help take the pressure off of McCann. The other two big bats can have to make that happen. Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira will try to overcome their 14′ struggles much like McCann. I believe a lot of it will come down to keeping them healthy and rested. This means appearances at DH and days off with Garrett Jones and Chris Young making starts.

I wouldn’t expect anything outstanding from them because both are on the decline in their careers. I was opposed to giving Beltran a three year deal because he will be 40 at the end of the deal. Not much good comes from players after 38. I understand what he is capable of and what he brings to the table but at this point it is hoping for a lot to go right to see his production near what it used to be. Tex looked lost at the plate  with more holes in his swing than a tennis racket. His bat went from average and power to just power and now in 2015 it is just luck if he makes good contact.

It won’t be all sunshine and rainbows this season. In reality, I think the Yankees are in for another tough, transitional season. Didi Gregorius is the new shortstop in the Bronx, and we will see if he can mature quickly while handling the pressure of the New York spotlight. There haven’t been many clues pointing to a break out campaign for Gregorius. In 2014 his slash line of .226/.290/.363 was far from overwhelming. Look for  him to have a similar season as he grows and matures under the tutelage of Girardi. We should expect to see him down near the bottom of the lineup near the 7 or 8 spot.

Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan will continue to provide depth and solid defense but aside from the occasional contribution, will not provide much help offensively.

The Yankees have a good shot to reappear in the playoffs this season but it will take a few things to go their way.

Here is my predicted lineup:

1. Brett Gardner

2. Jacoby Ellsbury

3. Brian McCann

4. Carlos Beltran

5. Mark Teixiera

6. Chase Headley

7. Alex Rodriguez/Garrett Jones

8. Stephen Drew

9. Didi Gregorius