When many Yankee fans opened the newspaper or popped on their favorite sports new broadcast, they were flooded with a plethora of good news the past few days.
Phil Hughes is expected to be back in the Yankee rotation in the coming weeks after becoming more consistent on the radar gun in his recent rehab starts. A chaotic start to the season left many wondering if Hughes’ Major League career has hit a nearly impossible roadblock to overcome. Nevertheless, Hughes has topped 93mph with his fastball and has done so with more consistency in each of his starts. Promising news.
Bartolo Colon who has been the Yankees 2nd best (but at times THE best) starting pitcher this year also is having progress with his rehab. Colon was reported to be taking sprints and throwing a lot of bullpen sessions without any setbacks or red flags. Colon could be back in the rotation as well before the All-Star break. Exciting news.
Then there is the news that Yankee fans want to get excited about, but the realist in all of them won’t allow them to be anything but nervous. Derek Jeter who has been out of the Yankeed lineup during their recent torrid run of victories has started hitting off a tee and taking plays in the infield. Not so exciting.
The Yankees have found energy, cohesiveness and most of all winning streaks during Jeter’s absence. Nick Swisher has leaped out of his season long torrid slump since being moved in the order. Brett Gardner has excelled at the top of the order. Most of all, the Yankee lineup has a comfortable rhythm that is at times has lacked with Jeter.
Jeter’s chase for 3,000 hits is winding down rapidly, which the Yankees want to celebrate. But the question is, where in the order should and will Jeter hit.
We all know Jeter is in a rapid decline both at the plate and in the field. Although he can still be a threat at the plate many would say that he no longer provides a benefit being slotted at the top of the order.
Do the Yanks risk sabotaging consistency and chemistry by catering to the Jeter Ego?
Now it’s no guarantee that Jeter would be a detractor to the Yankees if slotted back in the leadoff spot. He may very well light it up. But do you risk screwing up the great progress of Gardner and Swisher by relying on the hope Jeter can turn back the clock?
Over a month ago Jorge Posada begrudgingly had to accept a drop in the lineup and even an absence in the batting order. He battled and has had a great month since his demotion. If Posada can do this why can’t Jeter?
Is Jeter above batting at the bottom of the order. Jeter’s reputation is of class and of a
“team first” guy. But will he hold true to that if and when Girardi asks Jeter to bat….9th?
As a long time Yankee fan I believe you can’t mess with good flow. That’s exactly what the Yankees possess right now. If Jeter is focused on winning a few more rings before he retires and truly being the best benefit to the Yankees as a whole than I would suggest batting him towards the bottom of the order.
But what do you think?
Do the Yankees owe Jeter the respect of batting him at the top of the order despite his sub-par season? Do you do so at the possible expense of Gardner and Swisher’s progress?
Or do the Yankees owe more to their fans to field the best lineup possible, all in the best possible positions?
Rant about it Yankee fans!