Yanks Have Long Lineup (No, Jay Bilas Doesn't Cover Baseball Now)

Coming into the season, it was clear the Yankees were going to hit. Most analytical critics believed that the offseason moves made the Yankees a stronger overall team but their offense might regress. The argument focused on the Gardner/Thames platoon in left replacing the Gardbrera one that occupied center last year. Further, many believed Nick Johnson’s frail body was a minor downgrade from Hideki Matsui’s shoddy knees. Still, it was clear the Yankees were going to hit, but the top of the order would be *carrying* the team more this year relative to last. A week into the season this does not seem true.

A quick look at the slash-stats (Avg/OBP/Slugging) and wRC+ (weighted runs created where 100 equals average) for Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and Brett Garnder — the players who have occupied the bottom half of the lineup on most nights — through six games.

Posada:.353/.500/.854 and 248
Swisher:.333/.440/.571 and 178
Granderson:.348/.423/.652 and 210
Gardner:.294/.368/.294 and 115

Except for Gardner’s slugging percentage (and everyone knew him to be more stealth than bang), those numbers are all incredible. Granted, they are inflated due to small sample size; but these numbers prove the ability of the bottom of the lineup. Each of the four mentioned players are creating runs at a rate at least fifteen percent better than average. The Grandy Man (Yes, John Sterling actually sang!) is producing runs better than twice the average player and he bat ninth in one game! Hip Hip Jorge is creating runs nearly two-and-a-half times better than the average clip. His isolated power is a ridiculous .471. His OPS+ is 257. Even if you have never heard of these stats these numbers should seem big to you. And as a person with some familiarity with them let me assure you that they are.

Obviously any statistic so early in the season should be taken with a grain of salt. But like any small sample size, early season stats can be proof for potential. Clearly the Yankees lineup has proven itself to be long and filled with potential. Or more simply put, the Yankees lineup is an athletic swingman that Jay Bilas loves.

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