NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Yankees will bat speedster Brett Gardner at the leadoff spot on Opening Day, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports.
The move will push Derek Jeter to No. 2.
Jeter was the leadoff hitter 137 times last season, and the Yankees captain hit second on 18 occasions. Gardner was first in the lineup in 25 games during 2010. The outfielder got most appearances (56) in the ninth position.
Moving Gardner to the top spot could mean 50 or more additional at-bats for the left fielder.
Earlier this month, Girardi teased the idea of using Gardner and Jeter interchangeably, depending on that day’s starting pitcher.
“You could see two different lineups,” Girardi said. “One for right-handers, one for left-handers.”
Should the Yankees use a two-lineup system, Girardi said Gardner could bat first against right-handers and ninth vs. lefties.
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