A day after both Joe Girardi and Curtis Granderson said they were not concerned with Granderson's current slump, which coincided with his shift to the top of the Yankees lineup, Girardi showed his concern by dropping his centerfielder to sixth in the batting order for tonight's game against the Tigers.
"Grandy's been struggling a little bit so we just moved him down to sixth,'' Girardi said. "We've had some other guys swinging the bat pretty well. We'll just change it up a little bit."
Granderson, the club's leading home run hitter with 29, went 2-for-20 in the last five games as the Yankees leadoff hitter, both singles, although one of them drove in two runs in the Yankees 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners last Friday at Yankee Stadium. So far, Granderson has had a miserable trip to Detroit, where he played the first six seasons of his career, going 0-for-10 with five strikeouts in the two Yankees losses.
"Just not putting the ball in play the way I want to,'' Granderson said after Tuesday night's 6-5 loss. "Getting pitches to hit, not being able to square em up. Fouling a lot of balls off, just got to figure out the reason why.''
Girardi put Derek Jeter, who has the highest batting average of any Yankee regular, back into the leadoff spot and put Granderson between DH Eric Chavez, who has been hitting well -- he had three hits off Justin Verlander on Monday and a two-run homer off Rick Porcello Tuesday night -- and Russell Martin, whose average is still below the Mendoza Line (.194) but has recently showns signs of coming around.
He also chose to give Casey McGehee a start, in part based upon his success against tonight's Detroit starter, Anibel Sanchez, in a limited number of appearances (.375, 3-for-8) and to rest Raul Ibanez, who would normally play against a right-handed starter.
But the real news is the suspension, perhaps temporary, of the Curtis-Granderson-as-leadoff-hitter experiment after just five games. "It’s been a little bit tough on him the second half,'' Girardi said. "Sometimes you go through a month or a two- or three-week period where you don’t swing as well. Sometimes you make adjustments in the lineup and sometimes you just leave them where they are.”