The word on the street
is that Hideki Matsui will be back in pinstripes for Tuesday's game. If this news had broken a week ago, I would've been ecstatic. Today, I have mixed feelings for one simple reason. Girardi is going to have to make a decision on a daily basis.
Girardi has used basically the same lineup for the past three games, something he's rarely done this entire season. Gardner has known he'll be in the lineup, everyone has known what their jobs are. The Yanks finally clicked on offense today.
When Matsui comes back, what happens to Gardner? Does he get sent down after the two games he just turned in? If he doesn't, then we're going to run into a logjam at the LF/DH spot. You have Nady, Damon and Matsui to fill the two positions. The best offensive team the Yanks can throw out there would be Nady in left, Damon in center and Matsui at the DH. The best defensive team is going to take one of those bats out of the lineup.
Considering the Yankees' inept offense, today's game excluded, you have to go with your best offensive lineup day in and day out. My only concern is that Gardner will be kept up and Girardi will try to get cute again. He'll use the same flawed logic with the lineup he's been using all year and he'll mix and match the outfielders/DHs on a whim. The best thing for everyone concerned would be to start Damon in center every day, Nady in left and Matsui at DH. Make Gardner your fourth outfielder/pinch runner, send Christian down. Or send Gardner down if it's more important to have him playing every day. The worst case scenario is a revolving lineup, but if past performance is any indication, that's exactly what we're going to get.