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New York Yankees May Move Derek Jeter Down in Lineup After Brett Gardner Return

August 27th, 2014 at 10:03 AM
By Michael Moraitis

The time may be coming for the New York Yankees to move Derek Jeter down in the lineup.

One of the reasons to do so would be Jacoby Ellsbury, who since moving back to his natural spot in the lineup as the leadoff hitter is on fire, as he's six for his last nine with three long balls.

Ellsbury was placed back into that spot in the lineup because of Brett Gardner's ankle injury. Before that, Ellsbury was relegated to the No. 3 hole for much of the season and he was average there. Now that Gardner is returning, the Yankees have a problem.

They can't simply move Ellsbury back to where he was pre-Gardner injury just to have him revert back to decent after it's done. The Yanks can't afford to have that happen with their issues scoring runs this season. So, that means Gardner is either sent to the bottom of the order, or Jeter is.

Gardner, despite some struggles lately offensively, has been one of the best bats in the Yankees' lineup this season. He has hit for power and he gets on base, which is a perfect recipe for a guy at the top of the lineup.

Jeter has seen his numbers steadily decline as the season has moved on. You can chalk it up to a slump or age getting to him over the course of this long season, but whatever the case may be, Jeter is not getting the job done with a .239 OBP in August.

The best 1-2 punch the Yankees have consists Ellsbury and Gardner, hands down. It's a harsh reality and creates an incredibly difficult decision for manager Joe Girardi.

To move Jeter down would be a move that would rock the baseball universe. Jeter is that kind of a historic figure that it would be front page news should the Yankees move him down. Girardi would also face his fair share of hate from Yankees fans who haven't come to terms with Jeter's lineup downfall.

But if it helps get this team to the playoffs, everyone will forget it pretty quick. Unfortunately, Jeter doesn't give the Yankees the best chance to win where he is situated in the batting order normally, and it's time the Yankees make a change to try and save their playoff hopes.

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