Yankees Lineup Ideas for Joe Girardi to Use In 2017

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Yankees /

Versus Left-handed Pitching

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
  2. Starlin Castro (2B)
  3. Gary Sanchez (C)
  4. Matt Holliday (LF)
  5. Chris Carter (DH)
  6. Didi Gregorius (SS)
  7. Greg Bird (1B)
  8. Chase Headley (3B)
  9. Aaron Judge (RF)

Notice in this iteration Gardner has been left out. That’s due to the fact he is a career .257 hitter versus southpaws with a .341 OBP, as compared to Ellsbury’s .279 career BA and .357 OBP. As for the newly signed Chris Carter, if you’re not going to play him against lefties, then he’s strictly a pinch hitter. I know, I know, strikeouts — and if they are being racked up the way they traditionally do, then sure, use him sparingly — but give the reigning co-NL home run leader a shot. 2016s .875 OPS against lefties wasn’t a fluke. Just keep him off the field, at all costs.

Bird has to play against left-handed pitching, it’s the only way he’ll develop into what most of us hope he will become — the Yankees’ first baseman for the next 10 years. Eric Hosmer does it. So does Anthony Rizzo, Chris Davis, Adrian Gonzalez, and Freddie Freeman. Let’s the kid prove he belongs in this elite company before placing limitations on him.

Gregorius could stay at No. 2, as he proved exceptional in 2016 with a .324 BA versus lefties, but I like his power, and in the six spot, he could drive in any runs that Carter whiffs on. Headley at eight is out of sheer necessity. When he inevitably goes on one of his patented three-week hot streaks in Aug, he could find himself batting behind Gregorius, but this lineup is compiled as if the season started today. Judge is stuck at No. 9 until he earns a promotion up the line.