Though giving himself the appropriate amount of wiggle room, Joe Girardi said the lineup he sends out Tuesday night against the Astros will likely be the one he has in Boston for opening night.
"Tuesday’s going to be pretty close to what it’s going to be opening day," Girardi said this morning before the Yankees left for Bradenton to take on the Pirates.
Girardi didn't give the lineup, instead coyly listing his preferences for batters 5-9.
"If you’re going to hit a lefthander fifth, you’d prefer to have a switch hitter sixth," Girardi said. "And then maybe another lefthander seventh and another switch hitter eighth and then maybe another lefthander."
A lineup that would read this way:
Cano hit in the fifth position 50 games last year but did most of his damage from the seventh spot, where he hit .328 and hit nine homers and 30 RBI. Girardi said Cano is ready.
“He’s always been somewhat projected, especially after his first year, that eventually he would move up in the lineup,” Girardi said. “He’s got so much ability and tools. Young players, sometimes you want to easy them in, but to me Robby’s not a young player anymore. Even though he’s young on this team.”
Girardi said he doesn't expect Cano to change his approach.
"I don’t anticipate him trying to hit more homer runs if we hit him fifth or hit him seventh," Girardi said. "I expect him to be the good hitter he is, wherever we hit him."