NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Derek Jeter’s injury is forcing Yankees manager Joe Girardi to get creative with his lineup.
Girardi put switch-hitting Nick Swisher in Jeter’s leadoff spot against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. It was Swisher’s first start in the top spot since 2008, when he was with the Chicago White Sox. No. 33 and the Bombers then piled it on — to the tune of a 12-4 win.
“Just the on-base percentage he has against left-handers this year and his career, and he’s not upsetting (Curtis) Granderson and the other guys,” Girardi said of his reason for batting Swisher first and leaving Granderson in the two hole.
Swisher was up for the job.
“I figured I hit in every spot of the lineup, might as well do this now,” he said. “Like Jeet said, the only thing that matters is the first at-bat then it folds into one big lineup.”
Swisher went 1 for 3 with a double and two walks.
Brett Gardner hit leadoff on Tuesday, the Yankees’ first game after Jeter was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right calf strain. But Gardner, who bats lefty, has struggled against left-handers this season.
“I don’t think it hurts necessarily to give him a day as much as he uses his legs,” Girardi said of Gardner.
Girardi said he is not going to keep Gardner on the bench against all lefties. The Yankees are scheduled to face left-hander C.J. Wilson on Thursday.
Andruw Jones started in left field in place of Gardner. Alex Rodriguez served as the designated hitter and Ramiro Pena played third base, batting ninth, next to shortstop Eduardo Nunez — Jeter’s replacement.
Francisco Cervelli was behind the plate for the seventh time in eight games because Russell Martin’s back was still sore. Girardi is waiting for Martin to tell him the back is healed before putting him back in the lineup.
Cervelli went 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Also, the Yankees signed RHP Cory Wade to a major league contract and added him to the 25-man roster. New York had signed Wade to a minor league deal on Monday. He made one appearance for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, tossing 1 2-3 scoreless innings.
Wade was released by the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. He was 2-1 with 1.23 ERA in 21 relief appearances for Triple-A Durham. He is 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 82 relief appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2008-09.
The Yankees optioned righty reliever Kevin Whelan to Scranton.
Setup man Rafael Soriano (inflammation in his right elbow) was transferred from the 15- to 60-day DL to make room for Wade on the 40-man roster. Girardi said Soriano was feeling much better, but after throwing Tuesday the Yankees will keep him from throwing for a week.
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