Manager Joe Girardi has done an excellent job with the New York Yankees this season. He’s found a way to milk wins out of a roster that has been decimated by injuries, and the Yankees were at the top of the division for a short time. However, I have to question his decisions with the top of the order lately.
Just look at the first four batters — Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano and Travis Hafner, all stacked back to back and to back to back. That’s four lefties in a row. Gardner only hits .270 against lefties, Cano .254, and Hafner an abysmal .184. Ichiro actually hits lefties well despite being a lefty himself, sporting a robust .348 average. But he’s the only one among them.
Once you put a lefty in against this lineup, it suddenly becomes a lot less scary. Cano is the best hitter on the team, and he needs to be defended by a guy who can drive him in, presumably against a lefty reliever. I think Vernon Wells makes the most sense here. He is only hitting .224 this year after a hot start, but he hits .284 against lefties with three homers and 12 RBI’s. Wells provides more protection for Cano against left-handed pitchers, allowing Cano to get better pitchers from the sorts of pitchers that he struggles with most.
The Yankees offense has looked awful lately. I think I shake-up of the batting order might be the boost it needs.