Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cano, Girardi, and the 3-Hole

I just read this over at the LoHud Yankees Blog -
In the past, Joe Girardi has talked about his lineup as if the team is strong considering Robinson Cano in the No. 3 spot. Today he talked about his lineup as if Cano is locked into the No. 3 spot, and the rest of the lineup will be built from there.

“Is there an immoveable piece?” Girardi said. “I don’t think so. When you think about it, you’d probably like to hit Robbie third. That’s the one guy you’d like to keep.”

Otherwise, Girardi said he doesn’t have to be “married” to one lineup. He said he’s “not necessarily” locked into having Cano hit immediately behind Curtis Granderson, and he said flipping Granderson and Derek Jeter is “a possibility you could talk about.”

“We started talking a little bit the other day, some different things (about the lineup),” Girardi said. “I kind of want to see how guys look as we enter spring training, and we’ll try to iron out a lineup by Opening Day. It may take until then for us to make up our minds.”
I like this news for two reasons...

1. I believe Cano is the teams best all-around hitter. Robbie led the team in batting average, was 2nd in slugging percentage, and 5th in on-base percentage. And generally you want your best hitter batting 3rd, as it not only gives him many opportunities for RBI, but also gets him more plate appearances.

2. It shows that Girardi is not afraid change. He was lambasted by fans and media for not getting rid of the 6-man rotation earlier last season, especially when he said he was going to do just that. Which is a good criticism, in my opinion. If you say you're going to do something... do it. And I believe, along with many others, that he waited too long to take Teixeira out of the 3-hole last season as well. Moving Cano to the 3-hole isn't happening as soon as some of us would have liked, but the fact it apparently is changing is a good thing.

I'm not going to lie, I'm an apologist for anything Yankees. That doesn't mean I accept everything they do or say, but for the most part I will see the good in their moves before I will see the bad (assuming I see the bad at all). But even the biggest Girardi hater has to agree that hearing this from Joe is a good thing.

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