For their Wednesday night game in Coors Field, the Yankees will trot out a lineup that can charitably be described as "unconventional." WFAN's Sweeny Murti has the puzzling particulars ...
It's one thing for Tony La Russa, board-vetted Smartest Guy in the RoomTM, to bat his pitcher eighth, but it seems something else entirely for a resident of the DH league to do so. David Phelps, it should be noted, has never batted at the major- or minor-league level.
As for the tacitly disrespected Austin Romine, he owns a major-league OPS of .345 in 24 plate appearances (pretty much a meaningless data sample), but the 24-year-old catcher has a vaguely respectable .280/.334/.414 slash line across parts of seven minor-league seasons.
According to the Baseball-Reference play index, this is the 92nd time since 1916 (the back end of searchable data) that an American League team has batted its starting pitcher in the eight hole. The last time it happened was in 2009, when the Royals slotted Zack Greinke at eighth. The last time the Yankees did so was with Don Larsen on August 28, 1957.
For what it's worth, batting the pitcher in the eighth spot may help modestly, but it probably doesn't make much of a difference.