Archive for Curtis Granderson

(Al Bello/Getty)

(Al Bello/Getty)

Some injury updates, courtesy of Zach Braziller and George King:

  • Derek Jeter (ankle) is close to beginning a minor league rehab assignment. He continues to take simulated at-bats in Tampa, and he is running the bases after each one. The Yankees haven’t set a date for the rehab assignment yet, but Brian Cashman said “he’s doing real well. He’s really progressing well.”
  • Curtis Granderson (hand) swung a pipe 20 times underwater. He has to progress to a short bat and a weighted short bat underwater before taking real live batting practice. So yeah, Granderson isn’t close to a return.
  • Hiroki Kuroda (hip) will be re-evaluated by a doctor today. An MRI revealed no tear and the plan is to get him back into the rotation shortly. Ivan Nova is starting in Kuroda’s place tonight.
  • Michael Pineda (shoulder) will make his final rehab start with Triple-A Scranton tomorrow. His 30-day rehab window expires on Monday and it seems likely the Yankees will option him to Triple-A for some more tune-up starts at that time.
  • In case you missed it yesterday, Frankie Cervelli suffered a stress reaction in his elbow and has been shut down for at least two weeks. He isn’t expected to return until sometime in August now.
Categories : Injuries
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Via Bryan Hoch: The fractured bone in Curtis Granderson‘s left hand has healed, but he is not yet ready to start swinging a bat. He must first do some hand strengthening exercises, stuff like that. Needless to say, Granderson is still a few weeks away from returning to the lineup, and that’s a problem. The Yankees can’t wait around much longer to improve the offense, the rest of the AL East won’t let them. At least he’s progressing.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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During a conference call this afternoon, Brian Cashman provided a bunch of updates on the various injured Yankees. Here’s a recap:

  • Derek Jeter (ankle) took his hacks in batting practice and also off a tee and soft toss. The Cap’n fielded ground balls with a little side-to-side movement for the first time (ever! zing!) as part of his rehab as well.
  • Alex Rodriguez (hip) will face live pitchers on Tuesday for the first time as part of his rehab. Going from simulated games to minor league rehab games to the big leagues is probably a four-week process for a guy who didn’t have a Spring Training, so yeah, All-Star break if everything goes well.
  • Mark Teixeira (wrist) will not be available for at least seven days, and Cashman said he is “leaning personally” towards placing him on the DL. Let’s hope they do that, playing short-handed and potentially bringing him back too soon would suck.
  • Michael Pineda (shoulder) will make his next minor league rehab start with High-A Tampa on Thursday. He’s scheduled to throw 80 pitches. Cashman said Pineda has been sitting 92 and touching 94-95 during his rehab so far.
  • Curtis Granderson (hand) will have the pin removed on Thursday. No word on how long it will be before he can resume baseball activities, but getting the pin taken out is a start.
  • Frankie Cervelli (hand) is still a week or so away from swinging a bat. He has been playing catch and working on receiving drills behind the plate.
  • Eduardo Nunez (ribcage) took some ground balls and did some light hitting off a tee and soft toss. It’s possible he could return before the All-Star break, but Cashman didn’t seem confident.
Categories : Injuries
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When the cavalry arrives

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(Al Bello/Getty)

(Al Bello/Getty)

With a little luck, it shouldn’t be too much longer until some of the prominent Yankee regulars start returning from their respective DL stints. Although Cashman’s cast of fill-ins have generally done a fine job keeping the team in contention, the team will surely benefit from the return of its traditional starters. Let’s take a look.

Alex Rodriguez

Once upon a time, Alex was one of the best players on the planet. Unfortunately, this really hasn’t been the case for the past several years. In addition to an increasing number of injuries and subsequent trips to the DL, he’s appears to have lost bat speed and continues to produce more dramatic batting splits as time goes on.

In 2012, A-Rod batted .272/.353/.430 (.342 wOBA, 114 wRC+) with 18 home runs. Frankly, given his age and health, who really knows whether he can produce at even this level moving forward. For what it’s worth, ZiPS projected Alex at .253/.335/.412 in 2013 (.327 wOBA). If I had to guess, he’ll probably hit about 8-10 home runs once he returns, assuming his activation date still falls around the All-Star break.

Is he the guy who’s going to turn the team’s offense around and ensure the 28th championship and live up to his mega contract? No. He is not, nor should that be the expectation at this point. I think we have to look at A-Rod in terms of incremental benefit. Basically, is he better than league average, and at the very least, does he represent an upgrade over what the team currently has?

3B comparison

(click for larger)

Given that the Yankees have received fairly lousy production from their third basemen so far, I’d say there is a distinct possibility that the answer is “Yes!” to the latter question. According to B-Ref, league average would be approximately .255/.320/.408, so that benchmark may be attainable too.

Defensively, I imagine he’ll be stiff as a board out there, but what else is new as far as Yankee infielders are concerned? Joe Girardi will likely give him some time at DH as well, along with a few off days or partial off days to keep him fresh.  Color me naive, but I’m actually looking forward to seeing A-Rod back on the field if for no other reason than Kevin Youkilis looks completely cooked (and now injured).

Of course, A-Rod’s difficulties with Biogenesis could certainly complicate the matter depending how that plays out.

Derek Jeter

Are we all feeling super confident about the Yankees ageless Captain? Of course not. Derek is pushing 39 (!) years old at this point, and is coming off of a pretty substantial ankle injury. Personally speaking, I think Derek is the biggest wild card here. Unlike Alex, who has been steadily declining the past few seasons, Jeter’s been more sporadic with his performance. After having arguably the worst season of his career in 2011 (and really a very mediocre year by his standards in 2010), he bounced back and was effective in 2012. ZiPS has Jeter batting .277/.344/.369 (.311 wOBA) when he returns which would represent a drop off from last year. Still, I think he too would have to fall into the better-than-the-alternatives category and given how tight the A.L. East is, every bit counts.

My guess is he’ll spend a fair amount of time DH, which still leaves plenty of room on the roster for the likes of Jayson Nix or Eduardo Nunez (if he ever returns). Honestly though, this would probably be an ideal scenario as it would allow the team to deploy a more capable defensive alternative to Jeter while still retaining whatever’s left of his bat.

While I typically don’t put much stock into the intangibles, I tend to change my stance a bit when it comes to Derek Jeter. Every time I doubt him, he proves me wrong. Great players don’t always follow the trend line neatly. Eventually Father Time will catch up and he’ll stink. Whether that’s this season remains to be seen, but until I see it, he’ll have the benefit of the doubt.  Having his name back in the lineup card will be a welcome addition.

Curtis Granderson

The Grandy-man can! He will be back, and he will be fine. That’s my official stance. His two freak injuries this season were unfortunate and frankly, I’m still a little worried that the power may be sapped a bit after having his forearm/hand broken. Still, he’s still relatively young and seemed to be just starting to contribute positively during his brief return. If I were a betting man, I’d mark him down for 10-15 home runs once he returns. His 2012 campaign, which resulted in a .232/.319/.492 (116 wRC+) line, seems like a reasonable starting point though I certainly wouldn’t mind a little bit more contact and a little less feebleness against lefties, but such is life.

Aside from Granderson’s personal contributions, he’ll also offer the gift of outfield reconfiguration. All of a sudden, there won’t be black holes sitting in both corner outfield positions. Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells can go back to situational hitting (and dare I say, even show some improvement). Between Grandy, Jeter and A-Rod, you’d have to think Travis Hafner would benefit from some additional rest as well.  If this is the last year we get to see Curtis in pinstripes, hopefully he’ll make the remainder of it a good one.

Categories : Injuries
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Game 48: Reverse Split

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(Dustin Bradford/Getty)

(Dustin Bradford/Getty)

Left-hander Matt Moore has some of the nastiest pure stuff in baseball, with the easiest mid-90s velocity you’ll ever see and a breaking ball that both bends and sweeps. So why has Joe Girardi included five left-handed hitters in the lineup against the Tampa southpaw today? Because of his reverse split:

2013 vs. LHB 0.214 0.313 0.411 0.214 0.320 17.2% 10.9% 40.0%
2013 vs. RHB 0.155 0.261 0.304 0.190 0.257 26.7% 11.8% 34.0%
Career vs. LHB 0.232 0.336 0.359 0.232 0.313 17.3% 11.4% 43.4%
Career vs. RHB 0.219 0.307 0.372 0.219 0.299 26.0% 10.5% 35.1%

So are pitcher platoon splits more important than hitter platoon splits? I don’t know. I guess that’s a case-by-case thing. The Yankees haven’t exactly fared well against left-handers this season — .231/.275/.328 (66 wRC+) — and it’s not like they have a bunch of big righty bats on the bench, so they might as well just run their best hitters out there regardless of handedness. Here’s the lineup that will face Mr. Moore…

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. 2B Robinson Cano
  3. LF Vernon Wells
  4. DH Travis Hafner
  5. 3B David Adams
  6. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  7. SS Jayson Nix
  8. 1B Lyle Overbay
  9. C Austin Romine

And on the mound is the former Baker University Wildcat, left-hander Vidal Nuno.

This afternoon’s game is scheduled to start at 4:10pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Roster Move: As expected, the Yankees have officially recalled Brennan Boesch from Triple-A Scranton. He replaces Curtis Granderson, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a fractured left pinky.

Injury Updates: David Phelps (forearm) is bruised and sore after being hit by a line drive last night, but he expects to make his next start … Andy Pettitte (trap) came through today’s bullpen session fine, yet there’s still no word on when he’ll pitch in a simulated game … Hiroki Kuroda (calf) threw a bullpen session and felt a little tightness, but he’s still expected to make his next start.

Categories : Game Threads
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(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Eleven days after he returned from the fractured forearm, the Yankees lost Curtis Granderson to a fractured lefty pinky finger on Friday night. Cesar Ramos did the honors with an errant pitch in the fifth inning. The team won’t have a firm timetable for his return until a specialist takes a look at him on Monday, but it’s safe to say Curtis will miss several weeks. Maybe four, maybe six, who knows? If he can return before the All-Star break, I’ll be thrilled. For what it’s worth, Granderson was pretty upbeat following the game:

“I bounced back from [the forearm injury], I’ll bounce back from this,” he said (via Mark Feinsand). “The hand is still on, it didn’t fall off. You can take a look at all the positives from everything. It’s a better break than the previous one, that’s a good thing, it should be back sooner than the last time so that’s a good thing. The team is playing well. Hopefully we come back and the team is right where we need it to be and continue to help this team move forward until the end.”

The Yankees have been struggling to score runs this month (last night’s outburst aside), so losing Granderson is a pretty big loss when you consider that his replacement has stunk this year. It doesn’t matter if it’s Ichiro Suzuki, Brennan Boesch, or Ben Francisco. They’ve all stunk. Oh well, what can you do. We’ll all look back and laugh at this when the Yankees win the World Series. Here are some miscellaneous thoughts following the injury.

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

1. With Mark Teixeira due to start an official minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday, I think the Yankees should start working Lyle Overbay out in right field. Send him out to shag fly balls during batting practice and have him put in some extra work early in the afternoon, stuff like that, just to see if he can actually do it. He might be a Bobby Abreu disaster-level defender out there considering he hasn’t played the outfield since 2001 (25 games in Double-A), but it will keep him in the lineup against right-handers. Overbay could come out for a defensive replacement after six innings and ride the bench whenever the fly ball-prone Phil Hughes is on the mound, but they’d get to keep his bat around even after Teixeira returns. Given how little offense the current outfield options are expected to provide, spending the next week or so seeing in Lyle can handle right (the smallest part of Yankee Stadium) seems worthwhile.

2. I don’t think the Yankees will explore any trades to replace Granderson, not unless the specialist looks at his hand Monday and says he’ll miss the rest of the season or something like that. I’m sure they will monitor the waiver wire and stuff for small Alberto Gonzalez/Reid Brignac-esque moves that could provide a marginal upgrade, but I have a hard time thinking they’ll find someone better. Given how cooked Ichiro has looked, it might be best to start Boesch in right field and hope the bat clicks with regular playing time. Being a pinch-hitter and part-timer is hard, especially if you’ve never done it before. He could always come out for defense in the late innings, and his lack of a platoon split — career 109 wRC+ against lefties, 91 against righties — gives the team an excuse to run him out there every day. It’ll never happen, but I feel like Boesch deserves a shot given how terrible Ichiro (and Francisco) has looked.

3. Between the forearm and the finger, Granderson is going to miss what amounts to half his contract year. Does that make it more likely the Yankees will be able to retain him on a one-year “pillow contract?” He could come back to New York for a year, feast on the short porch and hopefully put up some more big power numbers before going back out on the free agent market after the season. I’d bring Granderson back on one-year, $10M contract no questions asked … hell, give him $15M for all I care. It ain’t my money. I don’t like the idea of re-signing him to a multi-year pact, and as much as these injuries suck and hurt the team right now, they might make it easier to retain him on favorable terms this coming winter. I’m guessing there will be multi-year offers on the table if he stays healthy in the second half and hits like he last these last three years. These were the definition of fluke injuries.

Categories : Musings
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The Yankees just can’t get ahead of all these injuries. Less than two weeks after he returned from a fractured right forearm, Curtis Granderson suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal (pinky) in his left hand when Cesar Ramos hit him with a pitch in the fifth inning on Friday’s game. Joe Girardi indicated he will miss a minimum of four weeks, but they won’t have a firm timetable until he sees a specialist on Monday. There’s a chance Curtis will need surgery.

Granderson, 32, actually stayed in the game to run the bases before being removed after the inning. The trainer did come out to look at him while he was on the bases, but not until he reached third base because they were originally waved off. In eight games since coming off the DL, Granderson went 7-for-28 (.250) with a double, a homer, and a stolen base. He also moved to the corner outfield in deference to Brett Gardner, playing primarily right field with a smattering of innings in left.

Ichiro Suzuki will presumably return to the lineup on an everyday basis even though he came into Friday’s game hitting .241/.279/.331 (56 wRC+) in 156 plate appearances on the season. Brennan Boesch is the obvious candidate to be called up from Triple-A Scranton to fill the roster spot; he’s gone 5-for-28 (.179) with a double in seven games since being sent down. The Yankees have hard enough time generating offense as it is, so losing Granderson is pretty devastating.

Categories : Injuries
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The Yankees have officially activated Curtis Granderson off the 15-day DL, the team announced. In a corresponding move, Vidal Nuno to optioned down to Triple-A. That’s no surprise after yesterday’s start rendered him unavailable for at least the next three days. The fresh Brett Marshall remains with the team as the long man for the time being.

Categories : Asides, Transactions
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11:36pm: On Twitter, Granderson said he is on his way to New York. Still nothing official about him coming off the DL, but the writing is on the wall.

8:34pm: In his latest minor league rehab game with Triple-A Scranton, Curtis Granderson went 1-for-3 with a single to right-center and a walk. He flew out to center and right in his other two at-bats. Granderson played six innings in left field and was removed for a pinch-runner after the walk, the first time he played fewer than eight innings during his rehab assignment. Add in Brennan Boesch‘s recent demotion, and all signs point to the Grandyman rejoining the Yankees on Tuesday. That is not yet official, of course.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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When the Grandy-Man Returns

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(Scranton Times-Tribune)

(Scranton Times-Tribune)

The return of Curtis Granderson is imminent. The forearm has apparently healed well. His bat seems to be rounding into form (.412/.412/.588, 185 wRC+ during his time with AAA). This is great news. It also puts Joe Girardi in a bit of quandary in terms of lineups. He’ll have to figure out how to delegate playing time to Granderson, Brett Gardner, Vernon Wells, and Ichiro Suzuki. Although Ben Francisco is technically still in the mix at this juncture, I’d have to assume his days are numbered as a Yankee barring something unforeseen.

Brennan Boesch hasn’t been particularly effective through a limited number of opportunities thus far (.205/.244/.436, 77 wRC+), and he was sent down this afternoon in favor of another pitcher. That is not a surprise. He was used sparingly as a platoon option, which was fine. Exactly as it should be.

Here’s how Gardner, Wells, and Ichiro have fared so far:













































I suspect Girardi is going to be forced into keeping Wells in the lineup, whether as an outfielder or DH, as long as his bat is above-average. This isn’t a bad thing by any means as long as he’s productive. Of the three outfielders listed above, he’s also the only who will really hit for any power.

As far as Gardner and Suzuki are concerned, I basically view them as the same guy. Neither are slouches defensively. Both are quick around the bases (though Ichiro may have the better base stealing instincts). Offensively, they both will look to get on base via the single (usually of the slap variety) the majority of the time. Ichiro will likely maintain the higher batting average, while Gardner will take a few more walks and allow a few more strike outs. One difference between the two, however, is that Ichiro has a much more noticeable split.

If I were the manager I would probably start Wells in left, have Gardner remain in center, and place Granderson in right (which would mitigate bad defensive routes). This would also place power bats in both OF corner slots while allowing Gardner to maximize his defensive value. Girardi could then substitute Ichiro into the game in the later innings as a defensive upgrade in right when necessary. I suppose the caveat here would be that the occasional platoon would still be utilized if specific matchups warranted it or the occasional off day was needed for a particular guy.

Should Girardi elect to keep Granderson in center, then I suppose I would shift Gardner to left where has has plenty of experience, and push Vernon to right. For what it’s worth, Granderson has been rehabbing at all three outfield positions apparently, so hopefully that’s a precursor to him playing a fair amount of games at the corners despite it being contrary to Girardi’s statements on the matter.

Categories : Players
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