Could Thursday night’s Yankees lineup have been a preview of lineups to come if and when Derek Jeter is moved out of the leadoff spot?
Jeter had the night off, so Eduardo Nunez played short and batted ninth. Slumping Brett Gardner would be the logical choice to bat first, but he’s “slumping Brett Gardner” – so he hit eighth.
Curtis Granderson was manager Joe Girardi’s choice to bat first. Nick Swisher hit second.
Neither fits the prototype of your usual 1-2 men. Granderson is not selective. Swisher is not fast. But both men have enough experience at the positions that they could be interesting options if Jeter is forced to give up his top spot and Gardner doesn’t come out of his funk.
Granderson hit leadoff in 139 games for the 2006 Detroit Tigers, the team that eliminated the Yankees in the playoffs and went to the World Series. He hit .268/.344/.450 in that role.
Swisher has batted more times in the second spot than in any other position in his career (249 games). His numbers there are .253/.357/.466.
Last night, Granderson went 1-for-3 with an RBI and 2 runs, and Swisher went 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs and three runs. He also hit his homer of the season.
Will it happen? Probably not. Could it happen? We’ll see.