Unlike their reputation, the Yankees lineup isn't stellar top-to-bottom. They are a roster full of aging player that are showing fault lines mixed with younger players finding their way. The key isn't to battle gallantly like David. The key is to be ruthless when you find yourself in the role of Goliath. Because you WILL find yourself in that role as you stride through their lineup. I'll show you:
- Derek Jeter hasn’t hit right-handed pitching this year, popping just a 631 OPS against them. If you’re right-handed, this is when you're a jerk. Keep Jeter off the bases, because for the next two batters you're really not going to want him on base.
- Swisher has great patience and prodigous power, and hits about the same versus left-handers and right-handers. But he's far from a prototypical #2 hitter. Make him put the ball in play. If he does get on base, let his “speed” clog the bases a bit, because Jeter isn't in front of him, right?
- Again, this is where right-handers need to be jerks. Mark Teixeira hasn’t hit right-handers well this year hitting just .244 wiht a 799 OPS. If you have the misfortune of being left-handed, don't be afraid to pitch around him a little, because next up is...
- Alex Rodriguez hasn’t hit left-handers this year, batting just .217.
- Robinson Cano...ah....um....maybe kneecap him? What else do you do with a guy who hit .319 with 29 HR this year and hurt left and right-handers evenly? But cheer up, because things are about to look a lot brighter.
- Jorge Posada – He can hit the ball hard, and he can work the count, but he’s hitting just .248 this year. Get ahead and make him swing at your pitch.
- Curtis Granderson – He can’t hit left-handers. He has never hit left-handers. Keep that streak alive.
- Brett Gardner – He will try and work a walk so he can run around the bases, but he cannot hurt you significantly with his lack of power. Challenge him.
- Marcus Thames – His career on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers is .296. Go after him.
There is no magic bullet. It’s a batter by batter battle. Get the guys you’re supposed to get - be a jerk - so the damage is minimal when the Yankees get you.