NEW YORK (WFAN) — Does Brett Gardner have what it takes to usurp Derek Jeter as the Yankees’ leadoff man?

According to the NY Daily News, there “continues to be a push from some inside the organization” for Gardner to take over the leadoff spot from the Yankees’ captain.

“The lineup is best with Gardner leading off,” one source told the Daily News. “Don’t be surprised if it winds up that way.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been steadfast in his assessment of Jeter’s hold on the leadoff spot.

“We signed him to be our shortstop and we signed him to be our leadoff hitter,” Girardi said in February. “And he’s got a pretty good track history of what he’s done in the game of baseball.”

Gardner was hampered late last season with a sore right wrist. He decided to alter his swing after having surgery on the wrist in December.

“I was sitting around getting bored and I made a change,” Gardner, who now finishes his swing with two hands, said. “So far, it feels pretty good.”

Gardner slumped to .176 in last year’s ALCS loss to the Texas Rangers. His less-than-stellar finish was a fluke, according to Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long.

“His first half is more indicative of what you can expect,” Long said. “His wrist was so bad, a lot of players probably wouldn’t have played through it, but he did. To me, you can throw the second-half numbers out the door. He wasn’t even close to healthy.”

Gardner says the new swing will alter his explosion out of the batter’s box, but it’s worth it for the speedy lefty.

“This could slow me down by a tenth of a second getting out of the box,” said Gardner. “But ultimately, if it leads to me being more consistent at the plate, that’s what I’m shooting for.”

Who do you want to see batting leadoff? Derek Jeter or Brett Gardner? Let us know in the comments below…

  1. Johnny V says:

    i felt like the Yankees could have had some extra sting in their offense in 2010 if they experimented more with Gardiner in the leadoff spot. I think they had some leeway to try it in the second half of the season and see how it pans out. Do you recall the frustration of opposing managers in 2009 whenever the Yankees put the speedster on the base paths as a pinch runner? There was that Redox series that the Red Sox Manager Francona looked obviously flustered. So it was hard for me to figure why Girardi didn’t continue in that same vain in 2010. I think he should have alternated every 3rd or 4th day and put Gardniner in there. Speed like that is so valuble and it really changes the conplexity of the game.drives even the best pitchers and catches bananas. If they do go Gardiner in the the leadoff I will be saying “its about friggen time” everytime he does bat where he belongs.

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