Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new Yankees cleanup hitter: Robinson Cano.
Against right-handed starters, anyway. Joe Girardi flip-flopped Cano and Alex Rodriguez, his usual cleanup hitter, for today's home opener against the Angels and Ervin Santana, their starting pitcher, an arrangement that as of today the manager says will be permanent.
"This is the way it's gonna be,'' Girardi said at his pregame news conference.
Neither Cano nor A-Rod is off to a very good start -- Cano is hitting .250, Rodriguez .174 and neither has a HR or an RBI -- but Girardi said the move is not performance-based, but strategic, making it more difficult for opponents to bring a lefty in out of the bullpen late in games.
"We just feel with some of these clubs that have two left-handers, or even one left-hander, it makes it a little bit more difficult to navigate through,'' Girardi said. "So we're gonna go with this and just try to make it more difficult when to bring the left-hander in. This is what we're gonna use.''
The question: Do you like the move? Dislike it? Don't think it matters? Let us know.