The immovable object in the Yankees lineup

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
2:41
PM ET
That would be Robinson Cano, who Joe Girardi said today has the only guaranteed spot in his lineup, the No. 3 hole, around which the Yankees manager will build his fortress.

"When you think about it, you'd like to hit Robbie third,'' Girardi said. "That's the one piece you'd like to keep.''

Which means, theoretically, that anyone else in the lineup is liable to be shifted, including Derek Jeter from the leadoff spot or Alex Rodriguez from his beloved cleanup position.

"You can move guys around just because you have switch hitters and you have left-handers that hit left-handers,'' Girardi said. "You don't necessarily have to be married to one lineup. There''s some things we''ll talk about as the spring goes on and we see how some guys look.''

The subject arose when I asked Girardi about the possibility of moving Curtis Granderson, the team's HR leader in 2011 with 41, out of the two-hole and into the heart of the batting order, a subject I will be examining in greater detail later this week.

But truthfully, do I think Girardi will seriously shake up his lineup? No, I do not.

But it was interesting to hear that with a lineup full of All-Stars and at least two potential Hall of Famers, the only one whose batting order slot Girardi considers etched in granite is Cano's, an indication of the esteem the Yankee second baseman is held in as an offensive force by his manager.

Cano is still not with the team, having returned to the Dominican Republic to attend the funeral of his grandmother, who died Sunday. Cano is expected back in camp on Thursday."
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .764
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135