TAMPA, Fla. -- Joe Girardi knows one thing: Derek Jeter will bat leadoff this season against opposing left-handed starters. The Yankees' skipper declared that much after his team's 2-1 Grapefruit League finale win over the Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday.
The only question is whether Jeter would also bat leadoff against righties, like he has over the last two seasons.
A YES Network report said Brett Gardner would be Girardi's leadoff hitter on Opening Day against the Tigers on Thursday, when right-hander Justin Verlander takes the ball for Detroit. But Girardi said he has yet to make a decision.
"I have not named that," he said. "... We'll talk about it on the plane ride."
Girardi's lineup for Thursday's game, against right-hander Rick Porcello, did have the lefty-hitting Gardner at the leadoff spot, with the righty-hitting Jeter batting second.
Prior to the game, Girardi said it was possible that the same lineup -- though potentially with center fielder Curtis Granderson in it -- would be the one he uses on Opening Day. Girardi has also said throughout spring that he wouldn't be opposed to deciding who his leadoff hitter is based on which side the opposing starter throws from.
Last year, Jeter had a .316 on-base percentage against righties and a .391 on-base percentage against lefties. Gardner had a .387 on-base percentage against righties and a .373 on-base percentage against lefties.
Regarding his top spot, Girardi says he only knows one thing for sure at this point.
"[Jeter] will leadoff [vs.] lefties," he said. "You can bank on that."