Rollins back, Polly fifth
Here are your lineups for today's second half of the home and home with the Yankees:
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Raul Ibanez, LF
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Placido Polanco, 3B
6. Domonic Brown, RF
7. Ben Francisco, DH
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Wilson Valdez, 2B
A few of observations:
1.Jimmy is back, after missing the first two games (he had left down for an excused trip to DC).
2. Chase Utley is not back. Following Saturday's game in Tampa, Charlie Manuel said his second baseman was a couple days away. I wouldn't be surprised if we see him Monday or Tuesday.
3. Look who's hitting fifth: Polanco. Manuel said he would experiment with his lineup this spring. This is the first game Polly, Rollins and Victorino are all playing in. Obviously, they all can't hit 1 or 2 in the lineup. And the Phils still have to solve the who-is-going-to-replace-Werth-in-the-fifth-hole conundrum.
Manuel has always been a big Polly fan, and considers his third baseman the prototypcial two-hole hitter. He makes contact, he's a smart hitter, he's an unselfish hitter.
But all of that could also make sense in the five-hole, as a right-handed bat to break up the lefties (Utley, Howard, Ibanez and Brown). No, Polly isn't an RBI guy. But what is an RBI guy anyway? It's someone who gets to hit with runners on base more often than not. If Polly, arguably the best pure hitter on the team, is in that situation, he can be an RBI guy, no?
1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Curtis Granderson, CF
4. Jorge Posada, DH
5. Eric Chavez, 1B
6. Jesus Montero, C
7. Eduardo Nunez, 2B
8. Ronnie Belliard, 3B
9. Ramiro Pena, SS
Ivan Nova is pitching for New York; Joe Blanton for the Phillies.
Most disappointing thing about Yankees lineup: no Jeter means no Minka Kelly sightings in Clearwater. Fellow scribe Jim Salisbury spotted her at Steinbrenner Field last night, the bastard.
If you have never seen the TV show "Friday Night Lights," you're missing out. It's a great, great show. And it doesn't hurt that Minka Kelly is in the first few seasons.
(I know some of you sickos would have preferred a pic of Joe Blanton. Sorry.)