Cano, Teixeira flip-flopped in lineup
The injury to infielder Eric Chavez, who was placed on the 7-day disabled list due to whiplash, forced the Yankees to call up a player from Triple A Empire State. Considering that the Yankees appeared to have more of a need for an outfielder, the decision to bring up Jayson Nix, who was playing second base at Triple A, may seem strange.
The reasoning turned out to be simple. With Brett Gardner still on the DL because of a bruised right elbow and Nick Swisher sidelined by a sore left hamstring, the Yankees have been short in the outfield. But the three outfielders on the Triple A level – DeWayne Wise, Collin Curtis and Chris Dickerson – all bat left-handed. The Royals were starting lefthanders in the first two games of the series, so the Yankees brought up Nix, who bats right-handed, and immediately inserted him in left field, a position he said he had played about half a dozen times.
Eduardo Nunez, who started in left field in two of the games against the Orioles this week, was back in the infield Thursday night at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium at shortstop as Derek Jeter was the designated hitter. DJ got his 500th career double in the third and scored on a double by Mark Teixeira, which was the first baseman’s 500th hit with the Yankees. It was also the Yanks’ first run in 20 innings.
Tex returned to the familiar 3-hole in the lineup where he mostly the previous two seasons with the Yankees as he flip-flopped with Robinson Cano, who has batted third and fourth this year but is off to a slow start. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the lineup change was because the Royals started a lefthander and declined to say whether it would be a permanent change.
Girardi has had to tinker with his lineup primarily because the regular 3-4-5 guys Cano, Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez have yet to hit their strides. Jeter, Swisher and Curtis Granderson have had to carry the load offensively to this point.