Girardi reshuffles middle of Yankees' orderCano batting cleanup between A-Rod and Teixeira
NEW YORK -- Six games into the season, Joe Girardi decided to revamp the middle of his batting order starting with Friday’s home opener against the Angels. Robinson Cano, the Yankees’ No. 3 hitter since last year’s Division Series, was moved to cleanup between Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
Judging by the numbers a shakeup seemed inevitable even though it’s early. The trio is batting collective .210 with no home runs and one RBI to open the campaign. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees are the only team without an RBI from the third or fourth spot in the order, and it’s the first time A-Rod has gone without an RBI in his first six games.
However, Girardi said the change has nothing to do with their slow beginnings. The intention is to bat Cano, a left-handed hitter, in front of the switch-hitting Teixeira to create matchup problems against left-handed pitching late in games.
“Sometimes when you think of lack of production you move people down in the lineup,” Girardi said. “There’s still three and four and five. It’s more just making it difficult on the other clubs.”
Cano was 7-for-28 with an RBI through six games, but entered Friday a .344 hitter with four homers against Angels starter Ervin Santana. In 69 games batting fourth, Cano is .318-14-64.
“I just came here to play. Whatever they decide I’ll go with. I’m ready for the game,” Cano said. “Third or fourth will make no difference. You still gotta face a lefty.”
Girardi first considered the idea while watching Rays southpaw relievers neutralize his offense. He thought about making the switch Wednesday in Baltimore until the Orioles used left-hander Troy Patton out of their bullpen the prior two games.
“Some of these clubs that have two left-handers, and even the one left-hander, it makes it a little more difficult to navigate through,” Girardi said. “We’re going to go with this to try and make it more difficult on clubs when to bring the left-hander in.”
Rodriguez is .303-223-591 in 727 career games batting third. He hit twice from three hole last year.
"I like it,” Rodriguez said. “It’s good for matchups. It means that me or Tex should get a favorable matchup late in games.”
Girardi added he will utilize this lineup against starting right-handers for the foreseeable future.
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixiera 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
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