But while the sight of Granderson in the leadoff spot is nothing new for avid Tigers fans, it has been jarring for some Yankees watchers. Granderson batted leadoff again on Monday, his seventh turn in the No. 1 spot for New York this season.
"You look at him against right-handers, and his on-base percentage is one of the highest on the club," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "When we face left-handers, you might see a little bit different type of lineup."
Girardi has had to shuffle his lineup in the absence of right-handed-hitting slugger Alex Rodriguez, trying to avoid stacking his lefties together.
"It's hard when you put two lefties together, or you put three lefties or you have four in a row and you have to pinch-hit early in the game," Girardi said. "It just makes it more difficult. You're trying to make it harder for a manager to get through our lineup. He's got to make a choice."
Granderson might not seem like the ideal leadoff hitter -- he is tied for the Major League lead with 70 homers since the start of 2011 and has just eight stolen bases this year -- but his .349 on-base percentage is third on the club behind Robinson Cano (.419) and Eric Chavez (.350).
Against lefties, Girardi will certainly keep Derek Jeter (.399 on-base percentage) high in the order, but the manager has other options to mull. Nick Swisher (.341) is a strong choice, but Russell Martin actually leads the club with a .413 OBP vs. southpaws this season.