Ichiro to New York Yankees: Predicting the Yankees' Potent New Lineup

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 06:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners stands in the dugout during their game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on July 6, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Yankees have found their replacement for the injured Brett Gardner, as they acquired Ichiro Suzuki from the Mariners on Monday, according to a report from CBSSports.

Right-handers D.J. Mitchell (6-4, 5.04 ERA in minors) and Danny Farquhar (32 G, 3.33 ERA, 9.5 K/9 in minors) were sent to Seattle in the package in exchange for the 38-year-old Ichiro and some cash to offset the roughly $8 million remaining on his contract for this season.

Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston broke the news last week that Gardner will undergo surgery and is likely out for the season.

RT @pcaldera: Gardner headed for arthroscopic surgery on elbow which is "likely to conclude his season'' according to the Yankees.

— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) July 20, 2012

 

Gardner has been out since April 17, and in his place the Yankees have been using veterans Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones in left field, with Eric Chavez seeing significant time at DH in place of Ibanez.

With the addition of Ichiro, the Yankees can align their lineup a number of different ways, and here are three potential lineup options the Yankees could opt to go with moving forward.

 

Lineup Option No. 1

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
1B Mark Teixeira
LF Nick Swisher
DH Raul Ibanez
C Russell Martin
RF Ichiro Suzuki

At least to begin with, this is the most likely lineup alignment for the Yankees with Ichiro in the fold. Mired in the worst season of his career, Ichiro is hitting just .261/.288/.353, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 49 R. The Yankees don't need to put too much pressure on their new acquisition to perform, and hitting him in the No. 9 hole essentially gives the team a second leadoff hitter.

 

Lineup Option No. 2

RF Ichiro Suzuki
SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
2B Robinson Cano
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
LF Nick Swisher
DH Raul Ibanez
C Russell Martin

A leadoff hitter his entire career, Ichiro could wind up there if he proves capable, and that would allow the Yankees to move Curtis Granderson down into more of a run production role and Alex Rodriguez and his diminished power down to the No. 6 spot in the order.

 

Lineup Option No. 3

SS Derek Jeter
RF Ichiro Suzuki
CF Curtis Granderson
2B Robinson Cano
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
LF Nick Swisher
DH Raul Ibanez
C Russell Martin

If the Yankees do decide to hit Ichiro near the top of the order, they may think twice before moving Jeter out of the leadoff spot as he is enjoying a resurgent season, hitting .311/.355/.412 and ranking second in the AL with 123 hits.