It could turn out that the New York Yankees' leadoff hitter "competition'' between Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner may not really be a competition at all. Before Tuesday's game against Baltimore, manager Joe Girardi hinted he might use one lineup against right-handed starters, another against lefties.
Literally seconds after saying, "You don't want to be changing your lineup all the time,'' Girardi then volunteered that he might, in fact, do just that.
"You could see two different lineups, one for right-handers and one for left-handers,'' Girardi said. "You might have a different leadoff hitter. Against lefties, Gardy might bat ninth.''
New York has been looking recently at how the lineup shapes up with Gardner leading off and Jeter in the No. 2 hole.
Jeter was the leadoff hitter 137 times last season, and the Yankees' captain hit second on 18 occasions.
Gardner batted first in 25 games during 2010. The outfielder got the most appearances (56) in the No. 9 position.
Meanwhile, reliever Damaso Marte, coming back from a left shoulder injury, expects to resume throwing shortly. The left-hander missed the final 78 games last season.
"It's time to play catch," said Marte, who hopes to pitch before the season ends. "I feel good."
Backup infielder Eric Chavez remains on target to play Friday. He has experienced discomfort in his right calf.
"It's not an issue," he said.
Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.