Even though manager Joe Girardi has insisited Derek Jeter will be the Yankees lead off hitter for the 2011 season, the Yankees front office is pushing to move Jeter down a spot which would open up the door for Gardner to be the lead off man.
Personally I believe Jeter has no business being a lead off hitter, and Gardner has all the right tools to be very successful in that spot. Gardner is extremely patient at the plate, leading the MLB in 4.61 pitches per at bat. This is key because he can draw walks as well as collect base hits, and we all know with his speed it doesn't take much for him to score, a double or a stolen base and a single will do the trick. By making this move I believe it will help the Yankees score more runs, and score more runs early in games which will help them build on leads rather then try to come from behind deep into ball games. Also I think Jeter is fit as the #2 hitter. He's done it for just about all of his career and has been amazing. He will get around 175 hits, and he loves hitting the ball to the right side of the infield which is key to moving a runner over to third. The Yankees should go with this lineup to start the year and if Gardner doesn't work out at the top of the line up then they can move Jeter back there. Gardner, Jeter, Tex, A-Rod, Cano, Posada, Swisher, Martin, Granderson is a pretty solid lineup and should not have any trouble scoring runs.