Lineup Vs. Lefties Still Needs Work

Despite having two consecutive games rained out in the middle of a major offensive outburst, the Yankees didn't miss too many beats this past weekend against Baltimore, winning the series and continuing the positive trends that we started to see last week.  Their top two starting pitchers each threw their best games to date on Friday and Sunday, combining to allow just 1 ER in 17 IP; they continued to get production from their collection of new guys as their injured lineup core mends; Robinson Cano and Kevin Youkilis continued to pace the middle of the lineup with patience and power, and even Brett Gardner started to show some signs of life at the plate. There is still one key area on this team that needs to be addressed, however, and that's the lineup against lefties.  It hasn't gotten much attention lately as the Yankees have faced a long string of right-handed pitchers, but against Wei-Yin Chen last night Joe made wholesale changes to his lineup card to try and generate some more offense and, save for one inning, his changes didn't lead to much.

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On Early-Season Lineup Tinkering

When the lineup for last night's game was released, there were probably a few eyebrows that went up.  After just two games, one against a right-handed pitcher, Joe decided to change things up a bit and shuffle the deck against Ryan Dempster.  Gone were Ichiro or Eduardo Nunez from the 2-spot in the lineup, and instead Joe moved the middle of the batting order up a spot to hit Robinson Cano 2nd, Kevin Youkilis 3rd, Travis Hafner 4th, and Vernon Wells 5th.  With such an incredibly small sample size to evaluate and base lineup decisions on, a move like this in the third game of the regular season could have come across as one of desperation.  Considering the circumstances surrounding the roster right now, and the severely depleted amount of above-average hitters in the lineup, I actually thought it was pretty smart and a great example of playing the hand you're dealt. Click "View Full Post" to continue.

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