Sunday’s camp notes: Going without Granderson

Curtis GrandersonBrian Cashman was standing on the field this afternoon during batting practice, noting that the group of reporters huddled around him must be having a boring spring so far — that was why, he joked, the Yankees were drumming up the drama of seeing how Curtis Granderson looked in left field.

There’s no shortage of storylines now, and the Yankees aren’t in much of a laughing mood.

Granderson suffered a fracture of his right forearm after being hit by a J.A. Happ fastball in the first inning of today’s 2-0 Yankees loss to the Blue Jays, and while Granderson is expected to be back in the Bombers’ lineup around the first week of May, the course of the team’s spring planning has been disrupted.

“It’s baseball,” Cashman said. “If you’re going to have injuries, you’d rather have them this time of the year than when you’re missing games that count. Obviously if Curtis is going to miss almost two months, you’d rather at least one of the two don’t count.”

Cashman and manager Joe Girardi did not have many answers to provide after the game, though this seems to settle the idea that Brett Gardner will be in center field to begin the season. The list of in-house left field options begins with Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera, both of whom are in camp as non-roster invitees trying to lock up jobs, and continues into a younger group of candidates that includes Melky Mesa, Zoilo Almonte, Ronnier Mustelier and Adonis Garcia.

“It’s not what you want. No one’s going to feel sorry for you,” Girardi said. “We had to figure it out last year. This club has been really resilient, I’ve seen, for a long time here, and we’ll just have to figure it out.”

We’ll have plenty more to explore on this topic in the days to come, so here’s a roundup of the other notes and quotes in camp:

  • We’re skipping ahead here, but Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano told Carrie Muskat that he doesn’t know if he’d approve a trade to the Yankees. Also, Angels outfielder Vernon Wells told Alden Gonzalez that Granderson’s injury “just stinks for them. It has nothing to do with me.”
  • Eduardo Nunez clearly didn’t impress the Yankees with those three games in left field last season. Nunez is not one of the internal choices to play left field, at least as far as Cashman is concerned.
  • Derek Jeter is expected to start playing in exhibition games around March 10. The Yankees will start him at designated hitter and then ease him into duty at shortstop.
  • Phil Hughes (back spasms) started working out in a pool at the Yanks’ Minor League complex. He’s still about a week away from picking up a baseball.
  • Francisco Cervelli is indeed out of Minor League options, Cashman confirmed. There had been some confusion earlier in the year on the topic. Cervelli and Chris Stewart, it would seem, have a solid advantage over Austin Romine to make the team.
  • Cashman said that the Yankees have “future everyday right fielder scouting grades” on Zoilo Almonte, who opened some eyes by throwing out a runner at third base and hitting an opposite field homer on Saturday against the Braves. Special assistant Jim Hendry told Cashman that he hasn’t seen Almonte have a bad day yet.
  • Adam Warren threw two scoreless innings in his spring debut, including a hit-by-pitch of Brett Lawrie that he said wasn’t intentional. Also, Dellin Betances will begin the year as a Triple-A starter.

 

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