Tinkering With the Lineup

(Keith Allison – CC BY-SA 2.0)

It’s January 26th. We’re under a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting. But it still feels like we’ve got forever to go and aside from Derek Jeter’s Hall of Fame election, there isn’t much going on in Yankee-land. So let’s do something fun, if futile: think about the Yankee lineup.

As we well know, lineup construction doesn’t matter that much over the course of the season, so long as you’re not putting the worst hitters up top and the best hitters down low. In the best possible way, it’s very hard to tell the good and bad hitters from each other in the Yankee lineup. This makes it difficult–again, in the best possible way–to figure out exactly what the best configuration is. What a wonderful problem to have, right?

The following lineup is pretty ‘standard,’ what I think Aaron Boone will trot out most days.

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  2. Aaron Judge, RF
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, LF
  4. Gary Sanchez, C
  5. Gleyber Torres, SS
  6. Luke Voit, 1B
  7. Miguel Andujar, DH
  8. Gio Urshela, 3B
  9. Brett Gardner, CF

This lineup is more than fine by itself. You could make a few tweaks, I suppose–swap Urshela and Gardner, if you want; swap Stanton and Sanchez, too, if you please. No matter what, a combination of these nine guys is gonna score a lot of runs.

Here’s a slightly more than slightly altered version.

  1. Brett Gardner, CF
  2. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  3. Aaron Judge, RF
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, LF
  5. Gary Sanchez, C
  6. Gleyber Torres, SS
  7. Luke Voit, 1B
  8. Miguel Andujar, DH
  9. Gio Urshela, 3B

This lineup has a slightly more traditional twinge with a fast, OBP guy at the top and a contact hitter second. Given Gardner’s on-base ability–and occasional power–it’s not hard to imagine DJLM’s contact skills driving in a few runs or putting a runner in scoring position in the first inning. New conventional wisdom says to put Judge second to get him more plate appearances, but this still guarantees him a first inning PA and gives him a decent chance to have guys aboard. This does, however, bury Gleyber a bit, which he probably doesn’t deserve. Maybe you swap him and Gary, depending on who’s hot. Again, this lineup is gonna produce no matter what.

Here’s one last lineup that’s maybe a touch different, a little friskier.

  1. Brett Gardner, CF
  2. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  3. Gleyber Torres, SS
  4. Aaron Judge, RF
  5. Giancarlo Stanton, LF
  6. Gary Sanchez, C
  7. Luke Voit, 1B
  8. Miguel Andujar, DH
  9. Gio Urshela, 3B

This lineup puts all the more contact-oriented players up top (minus one) and gives Gleyber his deserved spot at the top. This lineup is also just a power onslaught after the first three batters–who are capable of power themselves!

Regardless of how the Yankees line up this year, there will not be many landing spots, if any. There are questions, sure. Can DJLM keep tapping into power? Will Gardner keep up his production at an advanced age? How will Luke Voit and Miguel Andujar bounce back from their injuries? Hell, we don’t even know what the baseball is going to be like! But even with those (not very vexing) questions and whatever happens with the baseball, the Yankees are going to score. Often.

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11 Comments

  1. chip56

    “This lineup has a slightly more traditional twinge with a fast, OBP guy at the top and a contact hitter second. Given Gardner’s on-base ability–and occasional power…”

    Gardner’s OBP is 50 points lower than DJ’s and 55 points lower than Judge’s.

  2. DJ Lemeddardhieu

    DJ
    Judge
    Gleyber
    Stanton
    Sanchez
    Voit
    Andujar
    Gio
    Gardy

  3. MikeD

    The reality is Gardner is going to bat between Judge and Stanton, or perhaps Gleyber and Stanton, when there’s a right-handed starter. The Yankees under both Girardi and Boone like to break up the righty batters. It’s not my preference, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did something like:

    DJ LeMahieu, 2B
    Aaron Judge, RF
    Brett Gardner, CF
    Gleyber Torres, SS
    Giancarlo Stanton, LF
    Luke Voit, 1B
    Gary Sanchez, C
    Gio Urshela, 3B
    Miguel Andujar, DH

    They’ll want to see Andujar produce before he can move up in the lineup. I can see them getting Voit a little higher. Outside of Judge, he’s probably the best OBP batter on the team.

    On days when Andujar in at 3B or 1B or in the OF (assuming they try rotating his positions), or days they simply want another lefty hitter, we might get Ford’s bat in the lineup too.

  4. Samurai Spiderman

    I’d have Sanchez hit 9th if I’m the manager

  5. Vince Caterbone

    Everybody misses the point. Urshela belongs at the top of the order along with LeMahieu setting the table for the run producers.

  6. Rob

    No way Sanchez is ahead of Torres. I like #1 except move Torres up 2 spots.

    DJ LeMahieu, 2B
    Aaron Judge, RF
    Gleyber Torres, SS
    Giancarlo Stanton, LF
    Gary Sanchez, C
    Luke Voit, 1B
    Miguel Andujar, DH
    Gio Urshela, 3B
    Brett Gardner, CF

    • Kreesg1

      Actually like this one

      • Josh

        I do as well. You could probably switch Sanchez and Voit, but I don’t think you can go wrong either way.

    • MikeD

      I might flip Voit and Sanchez as I did above. Sanchez has shown himself to be more of a .230 hitter with big power. Voit gets on base at a higher clip, which is why I’m pushing Gary down. I still hope his BA, and thus his OBP, rises, but until he shows that I wouldn’t have a problem batting Sanchez seventh. This lineup is plenty deep that they can push him down to the bottom third.

    • Coolerking101

      Winner.

  7. CountryClub

    I’d be fine with the top 2 orders you listed. The 3rd one doesn’t work for me, though. Not a fan of Judge batting 4th.

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