First things first, Alex Rodriguez deserves a spot in the Yankees lineup. Obviously his numbers are disappointing, and his reputation far exceeds his production at this point, but he still gets on base more regularly than most of his teammates, and he’s still able to drive the ball now and then (although he hasn’t done that in quite some time now).
So the question is simple: What would you do with him?
“I’m still comfortable that he could hit third in a Major League lineup because he’s an on-base guy too,” Joe Girardi said yesterday. “He’s going to take his walks. He can get on base in front of Robbie. I like that as well.”
If he’s more table-setter than run producer, is third the best spot for him? Against lefties, sure. He’s hitting lefties quite well this season, but right-handers are giving him trouble, which brings us to another problem with the Yankees lineup: It’s so left-heavy — with a lot of left-handers who haven’t hit lefties this season — that dropping a guy like Rodriguez makes the team incredibly susceptible to late-inning matchups. Should that matter?
We know Rodriguez is going to play. Where does he fit best?