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Pregame notes: “You try to run a set lineup out there”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on May 31, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Travis d'Arnaud, Kelly Johnson

The Yankees have gone through a power outage lately, and it just so happens that two of their regular bench players are primarily power hitters.

Infielder Kelly Johnson and outfielder Zoilo Almonte haven’t played much, but the greatest asset for each one is an ability to hit for power. It seems little coincidence that Johnson is in the lineup this afternoon.

“You think about using Kelly maybe more here than sometimes on the road,” Girardi said. “Because the ballpark plays to him, and that’s one of the reasons he’s in there today. His at-bats have kind of gotten going a bit, and I want to keep him going. We’re in a really long stretch here, 17 days in a row, and a bunch of day games in a row here, and (we will) try to take advantage of it.”

As for a regular lineup change to try to take advantage of Almonte’s ability to hit the ball out of the park, that might not be in the cards just yet. Girardi has a tendency to stick with his guys, and Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Ichiro Suzuki have been the regular outfielders (a trio that has very little power) while Alfonso Soriano has basically rotated between right field and designated hitter (a legitimate power hitter, but with a .359 slugging percentage against right handers this year). Johnson had fallen behind both Brian Roberts and Yangervis Solarte on the infield depth chart, but we’ll see if that changes if Johnson can string together some productive games during this home stand.

“Sometimes you have to do some things (to shake up the lineup) just because of the way your players are, the way the schedule is,” Girardi said. “You try to run a set lineup out there every day, and we’ve had our five or six guys we run out there every day, six or seven. And you have the injury to Carlos which kind of changed things a little bit, so we’ve had to adapt a little bit there. We had the injury to Tex, which changed things a bit and we had to adapt there. You’d like to run out about seven or eight of the same guys every day.”

Shawn Kelley• Shawn Kelley said he feels fine today — he threw a bullpen yesterday — and he’s still on track to throw another bullpen tomorrow. Yesterday was his first bullpen since that day he couldn’t get loose in Milwaukee. Seems like a rehab assignment is possible next week, assuming he comes through tomorrow with no problem.

• Carlos Beltran hit again today and he’s scheduled to hit again tomorrow. “We’ll make some decisions from there if that all goes OK,” Girardi said. The Yankees haven’t announced a plan for Beltran, but kind of like Kelley, it wouldn’t seem surprising to see him getting into minor league games at some point next week.

• Also, Michael Pineda is scheduled to pitch an intrasquad game tomorrow.

• Girardi said he did not check with mark Teixeira before posting today’s lineup, but he was planning to check with him whenever Teixeira got to the ballpark. “He came to us on Monday (to say his wrist was hurting),” Girardi said. “So I trust that if he feels he’s not a player, he’ll come to me.”

• On whether Teixeira has to be managed more carefully going forward: “There’s probably going to be soreness in 92 percent of my players during the course of a game,” Girardi said. “Soreness is one thing. Being injured is another. I think you have to check in with all the guys, and when it becomes too much they’re going to sit down. Players don’t play feeling 100 percent every day. It’s not the nature of the game. … I check with guys every day to see how they’re feeling. I just don’t want to make too much of this. If we feel he needs a day off, then we’ll give him a day off. If he says he’s OK, then we’re going to play him.”

• Just a personal observation: Girardi seems to be irritated by the questions about the ways to properly manage Teixeira’s playing time. Can’t help wondering if that has something to do with Teixeira basically saying — more than once this season — that he’s played too much, which has caused his fatigue and soreness issues. It’s surely on both Girardi and Teixeira to make sure this wrist issue, or any other, doesn’t get out of hand and force a three-day shutdown like Teixeira experienced this week.

• Can’t forget to mention, Happy Tanaka Day. Where would the Yankees be without him? “Well, we wouldn’t be in probably as good of shape as we’re in,” Girardi said. “His pitching has been extremely consistent, we’ve won his games and he has a number of wins — I think it’s seven or eight. It’s hard to say. He’s been a guy that has given us distance and has given us a little bit of time off when he takes it. It’s not just distance, it’s good distance where he leaves the game usually with a lead and we’re able to finish out the games.”

• You know how sometimes you’re writing pregame blog notes and scroll through your iTunes library only to randomly land on the Creedence album Green River? Man, I love when that happens. Such a great album.

Associated Press photos

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27 Responses to “Pregame notes: “You try to run a set lineup out there””

  1. austinmac May 31st, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Green River–great album. Unique sound.

  2. bigdan22 May 31st, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Sizemore has an OPS of .714 with 51 Ks in 139 ABs. He is no answer to anything except who will lead SWB in strike outs

    ——

    Yea but Scott Sizemore is listed at 6’0 and 185 lbs. That should count for something shouldn’t it? Idiot.

  3. hardwired7 May 31st, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    CCR and The Allman Brothers get my vote as the two greatest American rock bands.

  4. Giuseppe Franco May 31st, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Now Chad has me playing Green River on my iTunes playlist.

    Sure glad he didn’t randomly land on Tommy Tutone.

  5. austinmac May 31st, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Dan,

    Yes, it tells me a lot about you.

  6. nutbutters May 31st, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    “Sometimes you have to do some things (to shake up the lineup) just because of the way your players are, the way the schedule is,” Girardi said.

    Well Girardi, tell my why every player has seen a different lineup spot at some point, yet you continue to pencil Jeter into the 2 spot -every day- even though he hits mostly ground balls, is a slow runner, and lately has been finding new ways to cost the team wins (not being able to get bunts down, making outs on the bases, making errors at short).

    True managers would handle Jeter’s ego and bat him 7th or 8th. Get him in check Joe, he’s costing wins.

  7. austinmac May 31st, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Dan,

    I’m confident you didn’t make your little league team so let me explain something to you. Striking out 35-40% of the time is bad and a predictor of failure. Should I write that more slowly?

    We don’t call each other names here pursuant to the rules. Otherwise, I would have joined in with many others as they expressed their opinions of you.

  8. bigdan22 May 31st, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    “True managers would handle Jeter’s ego and bat him 7th or 8th. Get him in check Joe, he’s costing wins.”

    —–

    With nonsensical lineups like today’s, it’s become clearer and clearer that Jeter is more important as a revenue stream to this team than he is a player. Jeter should have read his own FB letter regarding the part about baseball becoming a struggle for him and retired before the season began. But the Yanks certainly didn’t want that and neither did Jeter. This farewell tour is a big money-maker.

    All the more reason to “wait till next year.”

  9. nutbutters May 31st, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    bigdan22 is right.

    Take today’s lineup for example. Jeter should be benched and have the day off because 1) he is old and leaking pee and 2) yesterday he showcased another performance where all he did was kill the rallies all day, and make an out on the base paths on top of it all. How many times are we going to see Gardner get on base to start off a game, only to see him erased by a patented Jeterian grounder to short?

    Jeter should have the day off, but no, he’s in the 2 spot as the DH. The D freaking H. I guess people coming down from upstate NY today at $500 a pop want catch a glimpse. Keep them happy by seeing Jeter and maybe they’ll all buy “final season” t-shirts before they leave. It’s very sad to see the treatment of Jeter’s farewell tour take precedent over actually winning games. I hope he enjoys all of the handies before they turn into Indian burns.

  10. mick May 31st, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    allman bros- last year together?

  11. bigdan22 May 31st, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I don’t want to beat a dead horse but I think this is the most telling example yet that the patient is sick. The patient being the Yankees that is. Haven’t we read and heard all evening and all night, and really for several days now, how the Yanks are hurting for power? Yet in a day game after a night game Jeter is the DH against a righty. Does anybody know his slugging pct this year against right-handers?

    Can somebody tell me if there is any baseball reason why Jeter is the DH today?

  12. nutbutters May 31st, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Can somebody tell me if there is any baseball reason why Jeter is the DH today?

    No, not a single one. We can only debate on wether it has to do with:

    1) Jeter won’t allow the team to bat him anywhere but 2nd
    2) The team being afraid of Jeter’s ego
    3) $$$ from farewell tour merchandise trumps putting the best team out there?

    Either way, I don’t want ever again hear from Jeter or fans that he’s “all about winning” because it’s proven to be a lie. If he were really “all about winning” he wouldn’t be batting 2nd. End of story. I hate to say it, but the cap’n is a selfish egomaniac, just look at the house he built in Florida.

  13. nicholas May 31st, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I’m advocating for more playing time for Roberts, a bump up in the order,if he gets going he can be dangerous

  14. nutbutters May 31st, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Jeter has a .653 OPS vs RHP this year. Congrats to all of your fans that spend your hard earned money to go see the Yankees. You are rewarded today with a DH that has a .653 OPS vs RHP!

  15. nicholas May 31st, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Nutbutters kinda hit on my point, they gotta stop letting Jeter make the lineup, again I’m gonna bring up Roberts..he’s ideal #2 hitter, switch hitter and dangerous on the bases

  16. nutbutters May 31st, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I’m sorry! I was wrong about Jeter’s RHP stats this year, his OPS vs RHP is actually .624!

    May we all pray for a strikeout instead of a double play when he steps up to plate with runners on base and less than 2 outs.

  17. pkyankfan69 May 31st, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Can somebody tell me if there is any baseball reason why Jeter is the DH today?
    ——————-

    Jeter might be a career 0-1 with a K against Correia but in that AB (which happened in in 2007) Melky stole second… Jeter’s got his#… I’m sure the Yanks pulled the tape on that AB and he probably had some good swings.

  18. nicholas May 31st, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Have you looked at Jeters spray charts last few weeks…even this month. A ridiculous amount of rinky dink ground outs to 2B

  19. nicholas May 31st, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    In a perfect healthy yankee world I’d be putting this out everyday
    Ellsbury
    Roberts
    Beltran
    Tex
    Mccann
    Jeter
    Sori/Ichiro
    Solarte
    Gardner

  20. Giuseppe Franco May 31st, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Look at the house Jeter built in Florida?

    Dude can do whatever the hell he wants with his money. He’s earned it.

    He’s not the first celebrity to build a mega mansion and he won’t be the last.

    I don’t like that the Yanks have made Jeter bigger than the team but cheap shots aren’t necessary.

  21. bbb51 May 31st, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Oh lovely, Tanaka day is blackout day on mlb.tv.

  22. nutbutters May 31st, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    To be fair nicholas, none of those balls have been sprayed, dribbled or squibbed would be more appropriate terms.

    I’m starting to become convinced that Giardi is handed lineup cards that have Jeter inked into the #2 spot and he is forced to build the lineup around him. It’s why we haven’t seen continuity at the top of our lineup once this year, or have seen our best lineup possible. It’s becoming a joke to all of us fans that know better. Personally, I feel insulted by the team and it’s made me completely rethink how I feel about Jeter. It’s a sad situation.

  23. This Year May 31st, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Do not forget about The Band when discussing best American rock bands. It Makes No Difference = best break-up song ever imo. Let’s go, Tanaka-san!

  24. nicholas May 31st, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I agree, its preprinted in mass and all Joe does is roll the dice with everyone else. What I’m hoping is they get thru the first half of this year and all the last stop road trips for Jeter to do his thing, then come August they’re not gonna be worried about the media storm surrounding Jeters drop in the order. It has to happen at some point, I just don’t think Cash and co. wanna deal with it just yet

  25. nutbutters May 31st, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Look at the house Jeter built in Florida?

    Dude can do whatever the hell he wants with his money. He’s earned it.

    —-

    I think the point is valid. He didn’t just build a lavish home, he built the biggest home on record in the region. It shows the problematic “give it to me for me” ego problems that are hurting the team now.

    It’s the same megalomania you’ll see after he makes outs to kill rallies, as he laughs and smiles. Most players show their anger or disappointment, but not with a selfish megalomaniac. He’s too much about himself to show those caring emotions, he’d rather show people that he’s totally cool and happy after killing a rally with a double play.

    This is the lineup I’d run out with beltran healthy:

    Ellsbury
    Gardener
    Beltran
    Tex
    Mccann
    Solarte
    Sori/Ichiro
    Jeter
    Roberts

  26. nicholas May 31st, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    You hear the Bleacher creatures chanting for Brian Roberts right after roll call?? I must not be the only one that thinks Roberts should be in there

  27. nicholas May 31st, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Wow Jeter actually drove the ball deep with some authority..,against the worst qualified pitcher in the league

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