With the Yankees at 0-2, Joe Girardi is shaking up the lineup, moving Robinson Cano to the 2-spot.
In 2012, Cano never batted second in the regular season. In the ALCS, he hit second for Game 2.
Since making that move in Game 2 of the ALDS, Cano is 2-for-40 in that spot. Cano was one of a few players who were out early for extra batting practice this afternoon. Cano is one of the most dedicated Yankees, if not the most, as far as taking early hitting.
Girardi presented the move as less about trying to liven up his winless club and more of just a strategic decision to split up his lefties. Cano will be followed by Kevin Youkilis and then Travis Hafner, which provides the more left-right-left look that Girardi favors in his lineups.
"It is just to try and break up some of the left-handers that we have," Girardi said. "We have a substantial amount in our lineups without the switch-hitters [such as Mark Teixeira], where you can put him in between. So we have decided to take a look at this. I thought about doing it [on Wednesday]. I thought I'll go with it [Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Cano at the top of the order] to see how it looks. It is just to try to not make it so easy on the other team."
So this is the batting order that will face Ryan Dempster:
Brett Gardner, CF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Travis Hafner, DH
Vernon Wells, LF
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Hafner hit a long home run on Wednesday and Girardi thought his experience as a cleanup hitter would make him comfortable in the new order.
“He is a guy who has been there before,” Girardi said. “He is a guy who is used to hitting in the middle of the order. His swings have been good. [On Wednesday] I thought his swings were good. His swings were good at the end of spring training.”
As far as shaking it up, Girardi stressed the fact that the Yankees have played only two games.
"I think it is way too early to do that," Girardi said. "It is two games. We scored four runs [Wednesday night]. We had some opportunities the first day. I just don't like having three lefties in a row."