Utilizing the New-Look Roster

When last I left you, dear audience, the Yankees looked quite a bit different. Then, they made trades for Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo, tops among others, like Joley Rodriguez, Andrew Heaney, and Clay Holmes. Shockingly devoid of left-handed power before the deadline, the Yankees fixed it with their southpaw hitting headliners. Now, it’s time to maximize them to turn around what has been a moribund offense.

Part of the Yankees’ offensive woes has been a lack of balance. Now with two big lefty hitters, some will be restored. Rizzo and Gallo will make it harder for right-handed relievers to exploit the Yankee lineup for long stretches, at least at the top. They’ll also likely be able to take advantage of Yankee Stadium, something this year’s lineup, by virtue of being so right handed, hasn’t fully been able to do. Aside from helping balance things out, Rizzo and Gallo are just good players. They’re marked improvements for the spots they’re taking.

While the Yankees have players like Gallo in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton and a slugging first baseman like Rizzo in Luke Voit, the Yankees have done something that we, specifically Randy, have advocated for time and time again: just get the best players and let the rest sort itself out. The Yankees were trying to avoid any potential logjam by looking to trade Voit, but that didn’t happen. Now, the Yankees have to find a way–how horrible a problem to have!–to fit Voit back in when he’s healthy. Utilizing him and the rest of the lineup properly will propel the Yankees to success and, hopefully, the playoffs.

So, how should they do it? The answer is simple, and one that we saw in Miami: Stanton in the outfield and Judge and/or Gallo in center field. When Voit returns, this is what the lineup should look like on a nightly basis:

  1. DJ LeMahieu, 2B
  2. Aaron Judge, CF/RF
  3. Joey Gallo, CF/RF/LF
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, LF/RF
  5. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  6. Luke Voit, DH
  7. Gio Urshela, 3B
  8. Gary Sanchez, C
  9. Gleyber Torres, SS

There is a lot of outfield flexibility here and this improves the Yankee defense. Both Rizzo and Gallo are among the tops at their respective positions and likely improvements over what the Yankees had there. Additionally, it allows DJLM to play second full time, increasing his defensive value.

All of Judge, Gallo, Stanton, Rizzo, Voit, and even Sanchez can rotate in and out of the DH spot and the nice thing is that no matter whose turn it happens to be to sit, there’s still someone strong in his place. How often has that not been the case for the Yankees this year?

Finally, it seems that the Yankees are following the Dodgers model that we’ve–again, especially Randy–called for. Put talent on the field, put the best players out there and roll with it. Given that the Yankees are in striking position for a playoff spot, this is a necessity, not a luxury.

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7 Comments

  1. MG309

    I love Anthony Rizzo what a complete professional baseball player-clutch RBI single then made that DP look easy

  2. MG309

    I’ve never seen Holmes pitch until today-he is going to be a good pickup for them if he keeps throwing strikes.

  3. Wire Fan

    I like what the Yankees are currently doing with Gallo and Rizzo 2nd and 4th.

    Hopefully Stanton in the OF is real and not just an interleague thing. I guess we will find out soon.

  4. Bill Toncic Jr

    You don’t bat Rizzo 5th. I actually would bat him 2nd,Judge 3rd,Gallo 4th,with Stanton 5th. Rizzo is a professional hitter & although he’s done well batting cleanup these first 2 games,if we believe the analytic mumbo-jumbo that the 2nd slot is where your best hitter hits,Rizzo belongs there!

    • MikeD

      .280/.374/.511 142 OPS+ (Judge)
      .256/.358/.470 125 OPS+ (Rizzo)

      Judge has a higher BA, higher OBP and more power, both this year and for his career, so analytics would say he bats 2nd. That said, I don’t have an issue if one bats second and the other third. Just have both up near the top so they maximize number of PAs. One of the Yankees goals, no doubt, will be to break up the righties making it harder to counter the hitters with power righty arms out of the pen, which takes on greater important with relievers having to face a minimum three batters now.

  5. Rodrigo Mamby

    How about Odor?

    • MikeD

      He’ll probably play a few games a week. As I noted in the game-recap thread, if they actually will play Stanton in the OF, which they’re indicating they won’t despite his two starts this weekend, it would open up greater roster flexibility, allowing Voit and Odor to get more ABs, improving the offense. I’m not the biggest Odor fan, but he’s been hitting for the past month, so they need to find a way to get him in games. They can sit DJ and Urshela maybe a combined three games a week (DJLM taking over third when Urshela is out), giving Odor some opportunities. You know they want to figure out some way to have the LH’d bats of Rizzo, Gallo and Odor all staggered throughout the lineup.

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