Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lineup Analysis: Yankees @ Red Sox 4/23

Game 2 of the Red Sox and Yankees rivalry from Fenway starts tonight. Last night i showed my first tailored lineup of the year along with some predictions for hitters and let's just say it wasn't my finest set of predictions, but the Yankees won and that's all that matters! Nice night last night for most of the lineup except for the guy i had leading off in Yangervis Solarte who struggled.

Game 2 will have a regressing John Lackey on the mound to shoot off against the Yankees booming offense; there has hardly been a stretch this year where the hitters looked terrible and the Pinstripers look to keep this thunderous start going tonight.

John Lackey this year has not been better than his average numbers state from 2011 to 2014, Lackey has a 5.25 ERA and his FIP indicates that it should be around 4.70 which is still an above (or below) average and not very good ERA. Whilst John's K/9 rate is higher than in the past his BB/9 rate is also higher along with HR/9 and BABIP. Lackey is .500, albeit his season is only 4 games in, at 2-2 in 24.0 IP averaging around 6 IP per outing. The Highlanders will look to get to Lackey early and get to a bullpen that has been overworked since Patriots' Day, 2 games ago, with their 'pen having thrown 11 IP since then.

The Yankees lineup stacks up like this tonight:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Carlos Beltran, DH
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Alfonso Soriano, LF
6. Mark Teixeira, 1B
7. Brett Gardner, RF
8. Brian Roberts, 2B
9. Kelly Johnson, 3B

Joe Girardi slotted the same three batters to lead off the game as last night. Soriano is batting fourth instead of fifth and Big Mark Teixeira will be batting sixth instead of fifth. McCann moves from sixth in the lineup up to the cleanup spot against Lackey. Yangervis Solarte and Ichiro Suzuki who started yesterday at the seventh and eighth spots respectively. Brian Roberts moves from the ninth spot yesterday to eighth tonight and Solarte is replaced by Kelly Johnson.

I agree with the benching of Solarte, the kid as been struggling lately and after last night against Lackey, in which he did not put up much of a fight at the plate, i think it's best for his confidence, mindset, strikeout total and batting average that he sits tonight even if it is against a declining pitcher.

I still would prefer to see Ellsbury hit third in the order and i think his 2-5 performance with 2 XBH (1 triple and 1 double) with 2 RBI rest my case. Carlos Beltran will hit third with his .296 AVG. Carlos leads the Yankees with 5 HR AND 13 RBI. Brett Gardner after the night off at the plate is back in the lineup hitting in a spot im not too fond of, seventh, Gardy should aways be at the very bottom or the very top of the lineup thanks to his speed and grinding ability. Ichiro whom has remained hot with sit with Soriano playing in LF again. Alfonso, while hitting .270 on the year, went only 1-5 last night. Ichiro, while he doesn't qualify thanks to a limited number of ABs this year, leads the Yankees with a .371 average after another 2 hit performance last night in 5 plate appearances; also drawing 1 walk.

The 39 year old shortstop remains hot and is hitting .298 so far this year. Brian Roberts is hitting .118 points lower with a staggering, sadly not in a good way, .180 average. Mark Teixeira has looked pretty good off the DL with an April slump, so far, nonexistant. Kelly Johnson is playing third for Solarte, slotting his 0.4 WAR and .226 AVG into the lineup. Brian McCann will round out the infield cleaning up. McCann as the everyday catcher also has a 0.4 WAR and a .262 AVG.

My revised lineup for maximum success tonight looks like this:
1. Brett Gardner, RF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
4. Carlos Beltran, DH
5. Brian McCann, C
6. Mark Teixeira, 1B
7. Alfonso Soriano, LF
8. Kelly Johnson, 3B
9. Brian Roberts, 2B

Not too much to say today as a lot was covered yesterday or above. Brett Gardner should be leading off and Jeter is 
always best at the number 2 spot, after all he wears number 2! Ellsbury, the best hitter on the team right now, should be 
hitting 3rd. Carlos Beltran has been the most productive RBI and HR man for the Bombers this year so cleaning up is 
optimal. Tex and McCann are interchangeable but it's hard for me to slot Tex too high fearing the slump, although April is 
winding down and closing out soon; this is why i kept Tex where Joe put him. McCann has been flashing some opposite 
field pop lately, a promising sign indeed, so i like him along with his better plate discipline over Soriano batting fifth. 
Soriano seventh, no disrespect to him but with everyone hitting at the same time it is quite tough to keep a solid lineup, i'd 
have him seventh tonight and in the future until he gets a little more consistent with RISP. He has been showing some
pop lately though, so we'll watch Alfonso closely. Kelly Johnson will hit eighth as a lefty and the inept and ineffectual bat 
of Brian Roberts would be slotted ninth.

As you guys will soon find out i never like to stack batters although it may help vs the starter it may not when the 'pen 
comes in. Tonight's lineup has the effect of lefty-righty-lefty-switch-lefty-switch-righty-lefty-switch. It might not be too 
effective some days but it should get the job done.

As always, it’s a long season so remember that one game doesn’t make the season! Enjoy the game everyone!


  1. Is Sorry hitting to the right, or is his slower bat making him hit to the right? That tree he swings, may be slowing down a bit. Of course, even so, when he hits it with that tree, it will go a long ways!
    I still believe he is a tic behind the ball but, time will tell...maybe he is trying to fight the shift, I hope!

    1. Im hoping its not just a coincidence although this team is pretty stubborn when told to go against the shift. One thing i do know is that Soriano did have some opposite field power during his original run with the Yankees in the late 90's-early 2000's. McCann going the other way might show Kevin Long working with some of these guys to try have them go against the shift.

      Just speculation though.

  2. I mentioned it last night on Twitter that McCann looked to be purposely going the other way and trying to use that big freaking wall out in left field in Boston. Has to be Kevin Long's work.


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