After a non-Bronx Bombers kind of season, the New York Yankees lineup will look different in 2017.
The New York Yankees, a team that has had players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter and Yogi Berra throughout its history, were one of the worst offenses in baseball in 2016. If they had had more offensive production last year, they might have gotten to the playoffs. They were 22nd in runs, 20th in batting average, 25th in OBP and 21st in slugging.
2017 should be different in New York. Gary Sanchez had an incredible rookie season and will be behind the plate full-time. Greg Bird is back from a shoulder injury. They added Matt Holliday as a free agent to DH and play a little first or outfield. Aaron Judge will get a chance to play right field and show what has made him a top prospect.
“We’ve kicked it around from the second half last year, is it best to split them up? Who should really bat leadoff? Those type of things,” said (general manager Brian) Cashman. “And I’m sure those will pop back up this spring training. It could stay that way. It’s ultimately going to be (manager Joe Girardi)’s call.”
So what should the Yankees do? Drop Ellsbury for Didi Gregorius, who was their best day-in and day-out player last year? Starlin Castro, who was tied with Gregorius for the team lead in RBI? Chase Headley, who is rather slow?
Here is what I think the Opening Day lineup should look like with the roster as currently constituted:
Judge and Bird will start lower in the lineup to help take a little pressure off of them and then they can gradually move up as the season goes along. The best thing for both of them is to take some pressure off of them, at least at first.
The Yankees offense should be better in 2017 and prospects like Clint Frazier could be on the way eventually during the season.