Robinson Cano Should Bat Second to Break out of Early Season Woes

Rob ManiseroCorrespondent IMay 4, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 23:  Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees smiles after scoring against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Joe Girardi featured a lineup switch last night in an attempt to give the Yankees lineup a bit of a spark. Robinson Cano, who is in what seems to be his first extended slump ever, was moved back to the number five spot due to his 2012 power outage.

However, in order for Cano to break out of his slump quicker, his ideal spot should be in the #2 hole.

Before Girardi, there was Joe Torre, and he would often use the number two spot in the lineup for slumping players. And the big reason for that placement was due to the man at the top in Derek Jeter.

Jeter is fresh off a four-hit game against Kansas City, and his batting average currently sits at .404 after 25 games of the season. There is no hotter leadoff man in the game than Jeter right now, and Girardi needs to use that hot streak to help the rest of his lineup.

Putting Cano in the No. 2 spot in the order accomplishes a number of things. First, with the way Derek Jeter is hitting, it almost guarantees that there will be at least one runner on base when he steps to the plate. In situations like that, all it takes is a well-placed out to have a productive at-bat and raise the confidence level.

Second, Cano will see plenty of great pitches due to the hitters behind him. With Cano in that spot, here is what the ideal top 6 of the Yankees lineup should look like:

Derek Jeter

Robinson Cano

Alex Rodriguez

Curtis Granderson

Mark Teixeira

Nick Swisher

It's time to face facts: since Curtis Granderson broke out in late 2010, he has been the most powerful hitter on the team. Because of that, he should be placed in the cleanup spot in the order. Alex would then find a home at the #3 spot instead of Teixeira, who is still waiting for the weather to warm up.

With that lineup, Cano would see more fastballs due to the men waiting on deck and in the hole. Girardi should use this system to help get batters out of slumps, which is similar to the Joe Torre method of building a starting nine.

When Robbie gets hot again, Teixeira can be rotated into that No. 2 hole to hopefully provide a spark to yet another slow season. Once these guys get on track, the Yankees lineup will be firing on all cylinders.

Jeter is playing like he is in his mid-20s again, and Girardi needs to take advantage of the hot bat to get Robinson Cano and the rest of the lineup back on track.


Check out The Inside Move, which is a blog about baseball in 140 characters or more.