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Jan 242011

We pretty much know what the 25 man roster is going to be at this point, so let’s see what the different lineups will be. Using the latest round of CAIRO Projections from RLYW.net, I’ll put the player’s projected wOBA vs. RHP/LHP next to his name/position.

These projections are a combination of what I think the lineups WILL be:

vs. RHP

1. Jeter, SS .334
2. Swisher, RF .353
3. Teixeira, 1B .381
4. Rodriguez, 3B .382
5. Cano, 2B .379
6. Posada, DH .352
7. Granderson, CF .363
8. Martin, C .333
9. Gardner, LF .336

So against RHP, everyone projects to be at least average, with the middle of the lineup solidly above that mark. The median wOBA is .353. Let’s see what they could do versus LHP; there are a few ways this could go.

Option 1 vs. LHP (Granderson sits, Gardner to CF, Jones to LF)

1. Jeter, SS .364
2. Swisher, RF .367
3. Teixeira, 1B .393
4. Rodriguez, 3B .392
5. Cano, 2B .354
6. Posada, C .358
7. Jones, LF .332
8. Martin, C .357
9. Gardner, CF .310

The median wOBA here is .358. That’s not much of a change from the vs. RHP lineup, but it’s still a slight uptick. If we replace Gardner with Curtis Granderson (and his .297 projected wOBA vs. LHP), the median wOBA stays the same, since his would then be the lowest wOBA instead of Gardner’s. So, quickly, that tells us no matter which lefty outfielder is replaced, there won’t be much of a difference in the lineup. I suspect Joe Girardi will just keep the hot hand in there until he cools. All three outfielders in that shuffle–Granderson, Gardner, and Jones, are good enough at what they do that neither will leave an extraordinarily huge hole when absent from the lineup.

Just about everyone, myself included, sees a bounce back for Derek Jeter. After all, how could we not? Last year was the worst year of his career and there’s almost no way he can be that bad again. I wonder, though, if his slide continues, will Girardi pull him from the leadoff spot? If he does, who takes his place? I say it’s one of Gardner or Swisher. Gardner could work because he sees a ton of pitches, walks, and can steal bases. Swisher could take it because he’s a switch hitter with no drastic platoon split and provides a little more power, which would be useful for those batting behind him. He does strike out a bit more, though, but he showed in 2010 that he can cut back on them.

The rest of the lineup is just fine if you ask me. You could switch Tex/A-Rod if you wanted to, but the difference would probably be negligible. If anything, this lineup gives me confidence that the Yankees can still make the playoffs. Any lineup that features those hitters has more than a puncher’s chance at making it to October. Making it through October with that (current) pitching staff would be a challenge, but this team can definitely make it there. And once you’re there, anything can happen.

3 Responses to “Creating Lineups”

  1. Slightly off subject but I see Cano batting 3rd and Tex batting 5th. The reason being that Cano was the best hitter OBA+Slugging last year. He was also the most consistent from the start to the end of the year and is coming into his prime.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

    TedK Reply:

    Cano batting 3rd might be better, but I don’t see Girardi doing it.  (Quote)

    [Reply To This Comment]

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