- Posted: 10:07 AM, April 13, 2012
“If you think that’s a story, wait till I take over Jeter’s spot in the lineup," Rodriguez said in a joking manner. "That’d be the real story.”
Girardi will stay with switch-hitter Nick Swisher second against lefty starters and he will be followed by Cano and Rodriguez.
Instead, Girardi was concerned that teams would bring a lefty reliever to face lefty-swingers Curtis Granderson and Cano in late-game situations.
"We saw what Tampa (Bay) did to us, bringing in the lefty to face the two lefties in a row. We did it last year in the playoffs, Detroit had one lefty, Phil Coke, and it presented different challenges,'' Girardi said. "We thought about doing it, we wanted to see the two lefties together. We could have done it Wednesday (in Baltimore) but I assumed after (Troy) Patton had thrown two days in a row that he wasn't going to throw. The plan was to do it Wednesday but after the way the games turned out Monday and Tuesday, I changed my mind.''
April 6 at Tampa Bay, the Rays brought lefty J.P. Howell to face Granderson to open the sixth inning. Granderson hit a soft line drive for an out and Howell retired Cano on an infield popup.
"I feel with some clubs that have two left-handers or one left-hander it makes it difficult to negotiate,'' Girardi said. "We will go with this and make it more difficult to bring the left-hander in. This is what we are going to use.''
Cano and Rodriguez started today's game against Angels right-hander Ervin Santana hitting a combined .216 (11-for-51) without a homer or RBI, Girardi was asked if the lack of production figured into the move.
"No. Sometimes if it's a lack of production you move somebody down. It really has nothing to do with that,'' Girardi said. "It's making it more difficult on the other clubs.''
Rodriguez had hit fourth in all six games this season. Rodriguez has no home runs, no RBIs and is hitting .174 in 29 plate appearances.
Since 2005 Rodriguez has hit third in 22 games. He did it twice last year, never in 2010 or 2009, a dozen times in 2008, never in 2007 and 2006 and eight times in 2005. He batted third 72 times in 2004.
Moving into the third spot, Rodriguez believes he will get better pitches to hit.
“I think so," Rodriguez said.
Cano is hitting .250 with zero home runs and zero RBI in 30 plate appearances. Cano was moved to third this season after hitting fifth for most of 2011.
"I just come here to play. It doesn’t matter, wherever they decide, I’m good with it," Cano said. "I’m ready to play. Whatever they think is good. I feel good at the plate. Everything is gonna be fine. 3-4 makes no difference."
Here is the complete Yankees lineup, with Hiroki Kuroda taking the mound:
1. Jeter SS
2. Granderson CF
3. Rodriguez 3B
4. Cano 2B
5. Teixeira 1B
6. Swisher RF
7. Ibanez DH
8. Martin C
9. Gardner LF
Additional reporting by Dan Martin