Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hallelujah! Girardi Considers Moving Jeter Out of Leadoff Spot

From Mark Feinsand:
Derek Jeter was in his customary leadoff spot Wednesday night against David Price and the Rays, while the red-hot Brett Gardner occupied the No. 9 position.

But with every game that Gardner continues to swing a scorching bat and Jeter struggles, the idea of moving the speedy Gardner into the leadoff spot becomes more attractive.

"He's going so well, it's something I'll definitely consider," Girardi said. "We'll just wait and see what happens."

Moving Gardner atop the lineup will be the easy part for Girardi. Figuring out where to slot Jeter? That would be a challenge.


"He hasn't got a ton of hits," Girardi said. "He's had some good at-bats and he's gotten some hits. He had a big hit in Toronto for us, but collectively we haven't necessarily had a lot of this on this road trip. We've had a couple of big games, but we haven't had a ton."


"There's some different things that we could do," Girardi said. "We definitely could play with it. I think you think about it more when you have pieces missing. Without Alex in the lineup, it just makes it different, so you think about it a little more."


"I think if you're going to make a lineup change, you try to inform everybody, everyone that it affects so that they're not shocked when they show up at the ballpark," Girardi said. "I have respect for these guys and if I'm going to do something, I'm going to prepare for it."

As uncomfortable as that conversation with the Captain has the potential to be, Girardi said he wouldn't hesitate to make a move with Jeter if and when he feels it's necessary.

"I think if you ever have a situation where you have to move a player that is of substantial status - and that was not expecting a move - that you'd sit down and talk to him before you ever did it and tell him your thoughts, his thoughts, and be respectful about it and tell him what you're thinking," Girardi said. "I have to do what I feel is best for the team. When you look at a lineup, you look at how it works together, not independent of one guy. No, I'm not afraid to have that conversation."
This is a move that should have happened last season so at least they're finally openly considering it.

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