What Should Be The Yankees Opening Day Lineup?

There is always one phrase that every baseball fan looks forward to that marks the beginning of a long competitive year; Opening Day.  It’s the day where winning games start to matter, the day where fans trek to the stadium to watch their teams in action, the day where young female fans adoringly gaze at baseball players from far hoping that they could walk away with an autograph or picture. But Opening Day isn’t just a day for preparation for the fans; it is also a day for preparation for the teams.

After a long offseason the New York Yankees are scheduled to go back to the “Chase for 28,” but the Yankees can’t do that without a stellar performance from CC Sabathia & a potent Opening Day lineup. Here is how I could imagine the Yankees’ lineup on Opening Day and if played just right they could win the first game of the season:

1. Brett Gardner, LF: For the dynamic of a potent Opening Day lineup, you always want your fastest runner batting at the top of the order. In this case, that is where Brett Gardner comes in. Coming off of a sluggish 2011 season offensive wise, Gardner didn’t struggle when it came to stolen bases, putting up a career high 49 SB in 60 attempts. With Gardner’s speed and his ability to work walks, the Yankees might not have to look far for a leadoff man when the time comes to replace Derek Jeter.

2. Derek Jeter, SS: Coming off a stellar 2011 campaign, Jeter would bat second in the Opening Day lineup. In the second half of the 2011 season, Jeter was able to find his groove and finished the season with a .297/.355/.388 line. And now that Jeter has the 3,000 hits under his belt, there should be nothing keeping Jeter from hitting to his full potential.

3. Robinson Cano, 2B: Let’s face it; Robinson Cano practically owns the Yankees. He was easily their best hitter in 2011 with a .302/.349/.533 line which is why he should bat 3rd. Not only is Cano the best hitter on the Yankees, but Cano has the power to change games around. In 2011, he hit 28 HR’s & 118 RBI’s.4. Curtis Granderson, CF: After the 2011 campaign, Curtis Granderson has proven to Yankees fans that he belongs high in the lineup, so why not in the cleanup spot? In 2011, Granderson had a career high 119 RBI’s & 41 HR’s and fans could expect Granderson to repeat in 2012.

5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B: In a season plagued with injuries, Alex Rodriguez looks to come back bigger and better in 2012 which is why he should start the season batting 5th. In 2011, Rodriguez’s power wasn’t there with 16 HR’s & 62 RBI’s but if he can stay healthy during Spring Training, there is no doubt that he will be healthy to begin the season.

6. Mark Teixeira, 1B: In 2011, Mark Teixeira posted a career low batting average (.248) but his power was obviously there with 39 HR’s & 111 RBI’s. With Cano being the best hitter on the team it would make sense to switch Teixeira & Cano in the lineup.

7. Andruw Jones, DH: There’s only one thing to say about Andruw Jones; he can hit against lefties. Although his line was .247/.356/.495 in 2011, he only played in 77 games. If the starting pitcher for the Rays is a left handed hitter, prepare for the fireworks.

8. Nick Swisher, RF: Last season Nick Swisher was on a rollercoaster, ending the season with a .260/.374/.449 line. Even though he didn’t hit up to par, he did hit 23 HR’s & knock in 85 RBI’s. Here’s to hoping that Nick has a great Opening Day (and the rest of the season).

9. Russell Martin, C: Rounding off the Opening Day lineup is former Dodger catcher Russell Martin, who is entering his second year as a New York Yankee. Martin whipped the pitchers into shape last year and seemed like the only catcher that could control A.J Burnett. With his .237/.324/.408 line in 2011, we could expect great things in the 2012 season from “Mousier” Martin. 

About Delia E.

Delia Enriquez is the managing editor of Yankees Fans Unite. She enjoys analyzing the New York Yankees whether it be their pitching, roster or their manager. You can follow her on twitter @dfiregirl4 for more tweets, analysis and opinion on the Yankees.

Posted on February 12, 2012, in Personal Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. It is amazing how stubborn, I (an old Irishman) can be, isn’t it;
    1-Brett
    2-Tex
    3-Cano
    4-A-Rod
    5-Granderson
    6-Swisher
    7-Jeter
    8-DH
    9-Martin
    Of course i would also consider; 1-Brett, 2-Granderson and 3-Cano but, fans would say I am stupid…one never puts three lefties back to back to back. It is unheard of. I would come back with; Grandy and Cano are not bothered much with a lefty on the mound. The bottom line is, I don’t want to have Jeter behind Brett and Grandy hits well up front. A-Rod can do the same for Cano as Mickey did for Maris….protect his 1-2-3 hitters. Pitchers would get nervous with Brett at bat (they can’t walk him) with Tex and Cano behind him, ergo a chance to steal a base and score a run with Grandy and Cano getting a few RBI’s.
    It will never come to be but, it keeps me wondering…why not?
    Anyone remember the 196? WS…the Yanks had Whitey Ford, Downing and Bouton against L.A.s’ Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Claude Osteen and Johnny Podres 3 of the four LA pitchers were Left handed, that seamed to work out ok…they won! 🙂

  2. uyf1950…1963, of course I knew that….NOT!
    Good thing you guys are around…once I turn on this Mac…I get confused and it takes me a very long long time to post anything. About the same time it takes for my legendary Fastball to fly past the batters…in the day! I use to throw the pitch when the batter got into the box so it would get there about the time he was ready to swing…and miss! 🙂

  3. Delia, sorry to post something that isn’t tied into your thread but,
    Has anyone heard anything of Soler, Rivero or Concepcion the Cuban players?

  4. Nice job Delia!!!
    Very well put together

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