Archive for Curtis Granderson
Via Brian Heyman: Joe Girardi hedged a bit when talking about Curtis Granderson‘s position yesterday. “We’ll decide that as time goes on,” said the skipper. “We’ve talked about Grandy; we just want to get him healthy … We might toy around with some other things (with Granderson), left, right, other things. He’s getting reps everywhere right now.”
Granderson, 32, has been playing all three outfield spots during his rehab in Extended Spring Training. Brian Cashman has said they will keep him in center when he returns from his broken forearm, though this stuff is never official until he actually gets back out on the field. The team’s best all-around outfield probably has Granderson in left, Brett Gardner in center and Vernon Wells in right, but I’m guessing we’ll see some kind of rotation when (if) everyone’s healthy. Hopefully they make a final decision soon though, I’m sure everyone involved would like to have some clarity.
Via Mike Fitzpatrick: Curtis Granderson is fine after being hit by a pitch in the right arm during an Extended Spring Training game yesterday. It’s the same arm he had broken by an errant J.A. Happ pitch during Spring Training. “It was going to happen one of these days,” he said afterwards.
Granderson, 32, has been playing in ExST games since Wednesday, and Fitzpatrick says he has spent time in all three outfield positions. The Yankees insist he will return as the center fielder, so it will be interesting to see how the outfield shakes out once he returns. I don’t think anyone expected Vernon Wells to hit as well as he has, which has complicated things for the time being. We can worry about the outfield alignment when Curtis is actually ready to rejoin the team, I guess.
No team has been more beset by injuries this year than the Yankees. They’ve used the DL ten times already, the most in the big leagues. Some injuries are more serious than others, and some absences are more noticeable than others. Still, ten players on the DL one month into the season is a little extreme.
With a lineup that is averaging just four runs per game since the blowout Indians series (team 106 wRC+ overall), it’s clear the offense doesn’t pack as much punch as it once did. The Yankees can’t hit lefties at all — .225/.300/.365 (78 wRC+) as a team — and the injuries are a major reason why. The pitching staff has been pretty awesome (4.22 runs per game, 3.64 FIP), and that’s why the club owns the second best record in baseball at 17-10.
Some of those injured players are getting closer to a return, and a month gives us a good enough to look to determine which guy the Yankees have missed the most. With all due to respect to Kevin Youkilis, Ivan Nova, and Frankie Cervelli, this is limited to players who started the season on the DL and would have unquestionably made the 25-man roster if healthy. That means no Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral, basically, and it leaves us with four prominent position players.
The Yankees lost their top power hitter five pitches into his Grapefruit League season, when an errant J.A. Happ pitch broke Granderson’s forearm and put him on the DL for more than two months. Curtis played in his first Extended Spring Training game just yesterday, getting two at-bats before it started raining. The Yankees have hit an MLB-best 38 homers this season, so they haven’t been the powerless punch and judy offense so many (including me) expected. Still, losing a legitimate 40-homer hitter is a blow to any team.
October ankle surgery turned into an April setback, which will force the Cap’n to the sidelines until the All-Star break. Jeter hit .316/.362/.429 (117 wRC+) last season and that’s close to impossible to replace at the shortstop position – the team’s shortstops are currently hitting .214/.289/.264 (52 wRC+) – but the Yankees especially miss his right-handed bat against lefty pitchers. He hit .364/.399/.542 (157 wRC+) against southpaws in 2012, and boy would that fit nicely atop the lineup these days.
The Bombers knew about A-Rod‘s hip injury in December, so they were able to secure a more than capable replacement in Youkilis. That said, the old and broken down version of A-Rod produced more in 2012 (.272/.353/.430, 114 wRC+) than the totally awesome and rejuvenated version of Youkilis in 2013 (.266/.347/.422, 108 wRC+). The difference is especially noticeable against lefties, where A-Rod massively outproduced his third base replacement (152 vs. -40 wRC+). Rodriguez’s right-handed bat would fit perfectly into the middle of the lineup, especially against southpaws.
Teixeira hurt his wrist in mid-May while with preparing for the World Baseball Classic with Team USA, so the Yankees didn’t have much time to find a replacement. Lyle Overbay has been decent overall (98 wRC+) and much more than that against righties (.322/.375/.610, 163 wRC+), but he’s also been useless against lefties (-63 wRC+). Despite his decline, Teixeira was very productive last year (.251/.332/.475, 116 wRC+), especially against lefties (.269/.333/.531, 129 wRC+). Once again, that ability to mash southpaws is something the Yankees miss in a big way right now.
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Four players who, in recent years, occupied the top four spots in the lineup. All are missed in their own way, but some are definitely missed more than others.
4:00pm: Joe Girardi confirmed that Granderson took two at-bats in ExST today, calling it “encouraging.” Well that’s welcome news.
3:30pm: Via Dan Martin: Curtis Granderson has continued to swing a bat at the team’s complex in Tampa, and there’s a chance he will be able to start playing in Extended Spring Training games this weekend. “He’s doing all the things we feel he needs to get ready for a game and hopefully we feel he’ll be in some games pretty soon … So far, we have not had any issues,” said Joe Girardi yesterday.
Granderson, 32, had his forearm broken on the fifth pitch he saw in Grapefruit League play, so he’ll need what amounts to a full Spring Training before rejoining the team. He estimated that at 50-75 at-bats last week. ExST games are informal and Granderson will be able to leadoff every inning, stuff like that, which will speed up the process. Martin says the Yankees are hopeful he will be back in the lineup in about two weeks, which would be swell. It’ll be nice to actually get a player back from the DL for once.
Via Andy McCullough: Curtis Granderson and his fractured right forearm took approximately 15 swings in the batting cage prior to yesterday’s game. “A couple more days of that and he’ll go out on the field [for regular batting practice],” said Joe Girardi.
Granderson, 32, missed all of Spring Training and estimated he would need approximately 50-75 at-bats during a rehab assignment before being ready to rejoin the team. He could get like ten at-bats per day in Extended Spring Training, but he’ll also need a few regular minor league games just to get back into a routine and build up some stamina. Two weeks strikes me as optimistic, but it sounds like there’s a chance Granderson could return to the lineup sometime in mid-May.
Via Chad Jennings: Curtis Granderson and his fractured right forearm have gotten the okay to start taking some light swings. “He started taking some light swings, I believe … I know he’s been underwater doing it. He’s probably doing some light fungos now, but no ball I don’t think yet,” said Joe Girardi yesterday. Dan Martin confirmed the outfielder has indeed started swinging with a fungo bat.
Granderson, 32, was cleared to throw a little more than a week ago, but swinging is the big milestone. He missed all but five pitches of Spring Training, so his rehab stint is going to be longer than usual. Granderson has to start swinging a bat fully before he can hit in the cages and take batting practice, and he needs to do all of that before he can get into rehab games. It seems like he’s at least two and probably more like three or four weeks away from returning to the team.
Via Dan Martin: There is still no timetable for Curtis Granderson and his fractured right forearm to resume swinging a bat. “Swinging was something that could happen,” he said yesterday. “The timetable of when is still to be determined. After further consultation with the doctors and trainers, they decided to make sure I’m good throwing before I start to swing.”
Granderson, 32, was cleared to resume throwing last week. Because he missed all but of five pitches of Spring Training, he figures to need a longer than usual minor league rehab assignment. This won’t be a two or three day thing, he might need a week or ten days to prepare for the season. Maybe more. Joe Girardi said a May 1st return date is probably a little optimistic, but once Granderson is given the okay to start swinging a bat, they’ll have a much better idea of when he’ll be able to return to the lineup.
According to the man himself, Curtis Granderson threw for the first time today since having his right forearm fractured by a pitch in early Spring Training. He said everything went “really well,” so hooray for that.
Granderson, 32, is expected to return to the team in early-May, which isn’t all that far away really. The Yankees insist he will remain in center field when he returns for whatever reason. One thing we have to remember is that Granderson missed all of camp, so his minor league rehab stint will have to be longer than usual. It won’t be two quick games with Double-A Trenton or anything like that, he’ll need a good week or two of at-bats before being ready for the big leagues.
Got a trio of injury updates, courtesy of the AP…
- Derek Jeter (ankle) did some light running on the bases for the second consecutive day today, going first-to-third and third-to-first three times apiece. He also fielded 45 ground balls at short and started making throws to first, plus he took 32 swings in batting practice on the field.
- Curtis Granderson (forearm) had a round of follow-up x-rays yesterday and could be cleared to throw as soon as tomorrow. “Everything is looking good,” he said. Granderson has reportedly been cleared to swing a bat underwater, and he hopes to be given the okay to swing a fungo bat this weekend.
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) faced hitters for the first time since surgery in a scheduled round of live batting practice on Tuesday. No word on how many pitches he threw or anything like that, but it’s still really good news. Big step in the rehab process.
Via Chad Jennings: Derek Jeter did some light running today, his first time doing anything more aggressive than walking since receiving a cortisone shot and being shut down with lingering soreness/inflammation in his surgically repaired left ankle. He also hit in the batting cages and took ground balls with a little bit of side-to-side movement. The Cap’n is making progress, but it still seems like he’s a ways off. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t return until sometime in May.
In other news, Curtis Granderson has been cleared to swing a bat underwater. Joe Girardi said he is hopeful Granderson can start hitting off a tee and soft toss by the weekend. He’s been running and shagging fly balls for a while, but this is the first time he’s been cleared to do something with his right (broken) arm. Hopefully he’s not much more than two or three weeks away from returning.