The One Batting Order the New York Yankees Must Use More of
The New York Yankees have played 120 games thus far this season.
Manager Joe Girardi has thrown out 104 different batting lineups to use in those games.
There isn't much Girardi could do about having a more consistent lineup this season, as he has had player after player go on the disabled list.
To put in perspective how much turnover the Yankees lineup has had this season, the most used lineup is an order that has Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner and Francisco Cervelli in it.
Those three are done for the season and have been for months now.
However, the Yankees are starting to get healthier and are playing better with a more consistent order.
The ability to put one lineup up everyday will give the players one less thing to worry about on game day.
No longer will they have to guess where or even if they will be in the batting order.
When the Yankees are doing well they are able to balance their lineup with right-handed bats and lefties.
The following lineup gives the Yankees that balance and is formidable for the rest of the season.
It could only get better as well. Derek Jeter is currently hurt but expected to return sometime next week, and the Yankees have recently signed slugger Mark Reynolds, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
For the time being they are left off this list as Jeter's health hasn't been reliable and Reynolds' role is yet to be defined.
1. Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner has batted lead-off more times than anyone else on the Yankees this season and rightfully so.
Gardner is having a fine season for the Yankees and one I expected he would have. He is one of the few guys able to be plugged in game after game for Girardi.
His .339 on-base percentage is more than acceptable, and everyone is well aware of the speed that Gardner can supply.
His 20 stolen bases are lower than I would expect him to have at this point in the season, but his eight homers is more than one could imagine he'd have.
With some big bats back batting behind him, expect his runs scored to rise quickly.
2. Alfonso Soriano
There isn't a player in the world who is hotter than Alfonso Soriano currently is.
When a player is red-hot, you want to get him as many at-bats as possible and sticking him in front of Robinson Cano will continue to allow Soriano to see great pitches.
Over the past week Soriano has clubbed five home runs and has driven in 15.
Soriano finally seems to be settling in with the Yankees again, and giving him a spot in the lineup where he can flourish will boost the entire lineup more than any other player.
Soriano also begins the early lineup trend of mixing right-handed bats with lefties, giving the order a valued balance.
3. Robinson Cano
It comes at no surprise that Robinson Cano belongs in the three-spot in the Yankee batting order.
Cano has played in every game for the Yankees this season and more than half of them have been out of the three-spot.
A team's best hitter typically finds himself there because of the opportunity they get to bat with runners on base.
There is no question that Cano is the Yankees' best hitter. He is on pace for another 30 homer and 100 RBI season with a batting average over .300.
There isn't much more the Yanks can ask out of Cano and with some guys getting back behind him, its possible his numbers can begin to rise even more.
4. Alex Rodriguez
If Alex Rodriguez is in the Yankees' lineup, then Rodriguez is batting fourth.
Putting all the controversy and suspension out of mind in this discussion, ARod is the best the Yankees have at the third base position.
He is another power bat on the right-hand side to keep the balance.
Since his return he is batting .278 with an OBP of .350. The Yankees would have loved those numbers all season out of that position.
Whether the organization or the fans like him or not, non of it really matters if ARod is in the lineup and producing.
Travis Hafner has the most at-bats in the clean-up spot for the Yankees this season. To say the Yankees don't need ARod would be a lie.
5. Curtis Granderson
Another power bat returned to the lineup when Curtis Granderson came off the disabled list a couple weeks ago.
Granderson is a perfect No. 5 hitter. He has the power to drive the guys on base in front of him in.
He has the speed to move into scoring position for the slap hitters that bat behind him.
Granderson is batting .342 over the past 14 days and has been a big reason why the Yankees offense has started to come around.
Unfortunate injuries have cost him most of his season, but with free agency looming at season's end, he has the motivation to make these final two months his best.
Granderson also completes an intimidating top half of the lineup that teams finally have to take notice of.
6. Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro Suzuki is the kind of hitter you could plug into just about any spot in the batting order and it would make sense.
The Yankees would be best to put him in the sixth spot like they have 23 times this season with a successful turnout.
While batting sixth, Ichiro has a .352 batting average this season and an on-base percentage of .396.
Like Granderson in front of him, if Ichiro can get on he has the ability to get into scoring position with a stolen base allowing the bottom of the order more opportunities at driving in runs.
Unfortunately, the bottom of the Yankees lineup begins to get lefty weighted, but the Yankees have several right-handed options on the bench when needed.
7. Lyle Overbay
For the time being, Lyle Overbay will hold his position in this lineup.
It's possible with the recent addition of Mark Reynolds that a timeshare begins to develop at first base.
Overbay has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira.
On the year he is batting .250 with 13 home runs. He has found the most success batting in this very spot.
While batting seventh in the lineup, Overbay is batting .319 with a third of his home runs hit.
If indeed he begins a timeshare and only faces right-handed pitchers, he becomes even more valuable.
12 of his 13 home runs have come against right-handers, and his season average jumps up to .270.
8. Chris Stewart
Someone has to play catcher for the Yankees and someone has to bat eighth in this lineup.
That someone might as well be Chris Stewart.
There isn't really a lot of rhyme or reason behind this. Stewart is not a great hitter, but neither is their other option, Austin Romine.
Stewart provides the better batting average of the two and actually has the ability to draw a walk.
All the Yankees can hope Stewart can provide is to not be a complete rally killer. Any extra offense he can provide is a bonus.
9. Eduardo Nunez
If Derek Jeter continues to be out with an injury and Eduardo Nunez finds himself in the lineup, this is where he should bat.
For the time being, Jeter is out and Nunez is in and batting ninth for the Yankees.
Nunez has been a disappointment for the Yankees so far this season, as he is only batting .233 on the season.
Despite only having five stolen bases on the season, Nunez's best asset is his speed and placing him ninth gives the Yankees the double lead-off hitter, with Gardner to follow him in the lineup.
If Nunez can get on-base, the Yankees are going to want to utilize his speed and no spot in the lineup would give him a better opportunity to do so.