There has been considerable chatter in the netherworld and in the more mainstream media regarding the Yankees' lack of offseason activity. Most of the chatter has addressed the notion that the team should have addressed their glaring rotation needs, however the reality is that the needs of the team are far more complex than merely having to add a front-line starter.
Age and performance issues abound throughout the projected starting lineup, so much so that the club could find itself relying as heavily on the production of rookie catcher/DH Jesus Montero as they are relying on the hopeful return-to-form of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
As the season progresses, it is not outside the realm of reason that the Yankees will be in search of a reliable stick to supplement a lineup that could very well be performing well below conventional expectations. There are so many things that have to go right for this Yankee lineup to succeed consistently and even if it does perform well during the regular season, it may be too littered with once-great hitters to be able to perform to the level it needs to in order to move beyond the first round of the playoffs, presuming the team makes the postseason at all.
As it does not appear that Brian Cashman is waiting in the weeds to land a big bat, it will be incumbent upon Joe Girardi to demonstrate a level of flexibility and imagination with his lineup that he has not had a tendency to in the past.
Girardi, typically content to pencil in the same names in the same slots night after night almost regardless of performance and all reasonable alternatives, will have to closely manage this aspect of his team in a way that he has not demonstrated an affinity for in the past. For evidence of Girardi's reluctance to tinker, we suggest you review the Yankee lineups throughout the Round 1 loss to Detroit in the ALDS. Same names, same places, same inconsistent attack night after night.
Here, then, are our ideas as to where each Yankee should line up as the season begins. It should be understood that the intention here is to craft an attack that takes into consideration who these players are today as opposed to who they've been in the past or who they project to be going forward. Possible performance-based adjustments have been factored into the analysis as well and we'll also be pointing out how things may be changing as the season moves forward.