Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner Could Split Time in Leadoff Role for Yankees This Season

SARASOTA, Fla. — Joe Girardi has added another dimension to his leadoff-hitter experiment.

The New York Yankees manager on Tuesday didn't rule out using both Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner in the leadoff spot, depending on the opposing pitcher.

"You could see two different lineups," Girardi said before a spring training game against Baltimore. "One for right-handers, one for left-handers."

Should the Yankees use a two-lineup system, Girardi said Gardner could bat first against right-handers and ninth vs. lefties. 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.

Also, 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.

Yardbarker

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