Some of the local media and ESPN are making a big deal about Brett Gardner hitting out of the leadoff spot in today game against Tampa. Spring Training is the place to experiment with different looks in preparation for the regular season. In this case it makes perfect sense for Gardner to hit out of the leadoff spot. I have three reasons for this belief and I think you will agree that they are valid. Reason one. Gardner led the American league in 2010 with an on base percentage of  .383 and when leading off it was .412. Second Gardner knows how to steal bases. Last season he swiped 47 bases and was second in stolen base percentage from 08-10 behind Ian Kinsler with an 86.% success rate. This will give  Derek Jeter Plenty of chances for RBI’s should he be batting in the two spot. Finally I like Gardner in the leadoff spot because once on base he makes pitchers nervous. When a pitcher is having to pay attention to Gardner at first base he is more likely to make a mistake or lose focus. Can you honestly think of anyone else you would rather have at the plate when a pitcher makes a mistake than Derek Jeter.

In other Yankee news Joba Chamberlain has an oblique injury that may keep him out for more than a few days but he says that he feels fine. Ivan Nova was awesome yesterday throwing a no hitter thru six innings. At this point I would be surprised if he didn’t have a rotation spot at the end of spring. The Yankees have made some cuts sending players over to minor league camp most notably is Andrew Brackman getting assigned to Scranton. I think that he will see a start at some point in the majors this year should the Yankees have injuries.

Do I think that Gardner will be leading off for the Yankees this year. No I don’t, but I will not be surprised when It happens from time to time based on who is the pitcher they are facing.