Should Ichiro Suzuki Bat Leadoff for the Yankees in the Playoffs?
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When Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the Yankees on July 23, it seemed like he had New York in the palm of his hands. The deal made perfect sense because of Brett Gardner's injury. In addition, Suzuki was made aware of some conditions he would have to accept that included sitting against lefties, and batting lower in the lineup.
Since joining the Yanks, here is where Ichiro has been hitting in the Yankee lineup:
Ninth: three times
Eighth: 16 times
Seventh: two times
Leadoff: one time
Since joining the Yankees, the greatest leadoff hitter in Seattle Mariners history, and arguably the greatest hitter of the last decade, has led off a game once. Does that have a nice ring to it?
I don't want to nit pick, but I'm going to and hopefully you'll agree with me. The one game Ichiro batted leadoff was against the Mariners. He went a measly 1-for-5 and was caught stealing. However, Derek Jeter, who batted second that night, went 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored.
All I'm trying to say here is that it wouldn't hurt Joe Girardi to bat Ichiro leadoff more often. The argument I made at first was that it would be a slight to Jeter. However, what most people forget is that Jeter is not a career leadoff hitter. He's had immense success batting second, with guys like Johnny Damon, Chuck Knoblauch and Alfonso Soriano batting in front of him.
Why does Ichiro need to constantly be batting eighth and ninth in the lineup when Russell Martin and Eric Chavez can have success in those spots? I'm not saying Ichiro hasn't had success in those spots. He's batting .301 since the trade.
But I am saying a lineup that features Ichiro, Jeter, Swisher with the way he's playing lately and Robinson Cano in that order is going to be lethal in October. And I didn't even mention Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira.
I'm simply suggesting it, because I don't understand why it's only been done once since Suzuki donned pinstripes.
The die-hard Yankee fan will probably disagree, but I think there's room for success in the playoffs if the Yankees decide to bat Ichiro leadoff.
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