Results tagged ‘ Curtis Granderson ’
Curtis Granderson arrived at Yankees camp yesterday and said he is looking forward to feeling a bit more at home now that his second season in pinstripes is beginning.
I had a chance to chat with Curtis Granderson for a story that should be posted this afternoon on MLB.com, as the Yankees outfielder prepares to head to New Zealand as a Major League Baseball ambassador, his fourth such trip in helping the game grow overseas.
Good stuff from Pete Caldera today in the Bergen Record, who caught up with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long via telephone:
From the Yankees:
Two quick notes before I hit the highway and head over to Blue Jays camp:
The Yankees have their outfield alignment set for Opening Night and the beginning of the 2010 season, officially deciding that Curtis Granderson will play center field and Brett Gardner will play left field.
Though the moves had been expected for some time, Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that his choices had been set on Thursday, sending both players to start in their respective positions in a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla.
“They both did a very nice job in both spots,” Girardi said. “Grandy has played a lot of center field in his career, and so has Gardy. We just decided that we were going to go with Grandy in center, try not to move him around and put him in one spot.”
Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 (mild) left hamstring strain and may not play for the remainder of Spring Training.
Girardi said Thursday that Cervelli will be continually re-evaluated and is listed as day-to-day. With Opening Day approaching on Sunday, the Yankees will have to hope that the pinching sensation in Cervelli’s left leg can abate quickly.
“Right now, if I was to guess, he is not a DL guy,” Girardi said. “But we may not play him the rest of Spring Training.”
Cervelli felt something tweak in his left hamstring during Tuesday’s home game against the Blue Jays and was sent for a precautionary MRI on Wednesday, which revealed the strain.
Should Cervelli begin the season on the disabled list, it is possible that Mike Rivera – a veteran non-roster invitee who also battled a hamstring issue this spring – could head north with the club for Opening Night on Sunday at Fenway Park.
“I want to be there,” Cervelli said. “I think I will be there.”
With a nod to the old supermarket … wanted to pass this along from yesterday, when Curtis Granderson was discussing the MLBPA visit from Michael Weiner and talked about how he tried to pay close attention during the hour-plus meeting.
Granderson was the Tigers’ union representative in ’09 and said he could be interested in doing it for the Yankees, but he doesn’t necessarily need to since Mark Teixeira and Randy Winn are veteran players who have been involved in the union as well.
“I don’t mind it all. I like learning about it, understanding it a little bit,” Granderson said. “Both of my parents were involved with the union, being teachers in Chicago, so I was around it a little bit. I remember the first meeting when they came to Spring Training, Michael Weiner and Don Fehr and the Players Association.
“They were mentioning different things and I sat there like a deer in the headlights because I didn’t know what they were talking about. It was my first spring in 2005, and I’d had 20 days in the big leagues. From that point, I was like, ‘Man, I need to know what’s going on a little bit.’”
That didn’t seem like a good consolation prize after he was charged with five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla. on Saturday, though, leaving a bases-loaded mess for Mark Melancon and watching the carousel progress.
“I just missed pitches,” Aceves said. “They’ve got good hitters. … I’m not happy with that.”
Regardless, this shouldn’t torpedo Aceves’ chances of helping the Yankees in 2010, at least not based upon Girardi’s glowing scouting report of the righty pre-game.
“He knows how to change speeds, he knows how to change eye level, read
swings,” Girardi said. “He knows how to pitch. He was a big part of our success last
year – 10 wins out of the bullpen. He held teams down and gave us a
chance to come back. I’ve always had a lot of confidence in him.”
Next up in the great fifth starter pitch-off is Phil Hughes, who throws in relief of A.J. Burnett tomorrow. Joba Chamberlain gets a start Monday against the Phillies in Clearwater, and then it’s really time to start hashing things out. Joe Girardi isn’t surprised that the decision is receiving so much attention.
“I think people are interested, that’s why,” Girardi said. “Once that’s set, then you
iron out your bullpen from there. There’s a lot up in the air because
you don’t know exactly who’s going to be in your bullpen because of the
fifth starter [competition].”
A-Rod on the scene: Alex Rodriguez had two doubles and two RBIs in three at-bats Saturday, continuing to heat up in Grapefruit League play.
“He’s starting to swing the bat,” Girardi said. “He’ll play again tomorrow. I talked to him today and physically he feels good. That’s obviously good to hear.”
Go, speed racer: Brett Gardner’s wheels earned him a bunt single on the first pitch of the game, and in the third inning, he tripled to the left-field corner – someplace you don’t usually see three-base hits from.
“That’s what speed does for you,” Girardi said. “I tell him all the time, just get on base, you can make things happen. He has that ability. We see him hitting the ball on the ground a lot harder, bunting for base hits. It’s great.”
The only minus to Gardner’s day was a pickoff after that bunt single, as Astros catcher Humberto Quintero made a snap throw to first base behind the left-handed hitting Nick Johnson and caught Gardner leaning.
- Notes & quotes: Assistant trainer Steve Donohue’s report on OF Curtis Granderson was “minor stiffness” in his right hand. He’ll play Sunday vs. Detroit … It’s still too early on a decision for OF Jamie Hoffmann (3-for-23, .130) vs. OF Marcus Thames (3-for-28, .107) in that battle to be the right-handed hitting 25th man on the bench. “We’ve still got time with that,” Girardi said. “That we’re not in such a big hurry to make.”
Curtis Granderson departed the stadium before we could talk to him about his afternoon in left field, but from an observer’s point of view, it didn’t seem like he had much trouble at all out there.
Granderson made a nice play in the third inning running toward the seats to snag a Nick Markakis ball near the foul line, and on the next play he had to run back to track down a Miguel Tejada fly. Granderson also snagged a Cesar Izturis fly ball in the fifth inning.
“It was a tough wind & sun day,” Joe Girardi said. “It wasn’t an easy day to play left field. I thought he looked good.”
Girardi said that he’ll mix Granderson and Brett Gardner between left field and center field the rest of the spring.
- When the clubhouse opened to reporters in the fifth inning, Nick Johnson was sprawled on the carpet in a deep stretch, trying to keep flexible between at-bats. He’s looked pretty good so far to Girardi, who says that Johnson “really fits that bill” for the No. 2 spot.
“I’m extremely pleased with what he’s doing,” Girardi said. “A lot of long counts, he’s pulled balls, he’s hit balls over the left fielder’s head and the right fielder’s head, through the middle – quality at-bat after quality at-bat.”
Could Andy Pettitte make it through the whole spring without pitching against another team? It’s starting to look that way, but Joe Girardi promises they’ll find a way to get him into a game with four starts remaining.
Baseball wasn’t meant to happen today, though, as the Yankees got about 80 miles up the interstate before spinning the bus back around toward Tampa – washed out against the Nationals in Viera.
Instead, Pettitte threw a three inning simulated game at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the same way that A.J. Burnett did after last night’s washout. Girardi said that he didn’t consider altering the rotation to have Pettitte go Saturday in one of the Yankees’ split-squad games, believing that Pettitte knows how to handle himself after so many springs.
“If it wasn’t a veteran, you might make him pitch tomorrow,” Girardi said.
Javier Vazquez will start against the Orioles tomorrow in Tampa, with Chad Gaudin going against the Tigers in Lakeland. Alfredo Aceves, Royce Ring and Dave Robertson will pitch against Baltimore, while Grant Duff, Boone Logan, Sergio Mitre, Amaury Sanit and Zack Segovia have all been listed on the travel roster to see Detroit.
Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher are among those heading to Tiger Town on what should be a much nicer day for baseball.
Other notes as we close up shop on what might just be a half-day in Tampa (though I’d bet against it…):
- A-Rod has “a bounce in his step every day,” Girardi said. Rodriguez has been able to limit the amount of hip exercises he does to loosen up compared to last season, and Girardi thinks he looks more like the player who was healthier and more confident in September and October.
- Aceves has been managing some back stiffness well. He’s been skipping fielding practice on some of the days he pitches, instead heading inside to do core work. It’s not considered a serious issue at this point.
- Chan Ho Park should throw batting practice tomorrow. That puts him on the Mariano Rivera (3/16) and Damaso Marte (3/17) schedule for getting into games.
- Girardi’s lineup had Curtis Granderson in left field today, and he might be back there tomorrow with Brett Gardner in center field. Girardi wants to see how Granderson reacts to the balls hit on different angles.
“It makes it real easy when you have players that are willing to do anything you ask,” Girardi said. “That’s a manager’s dream. It just shows you that they check their egos when they come in the clubhouse.”
Curtis Granderson got to exchange hugs and pleasantries with his old Tigers teammates yesterday, and Johnny Damon quipped about his old Yankees buddies secretly missing him as New York and Detroit met for the first time this spring.
It was all feel-good in the sunshine, except for Joba Chamberlain, who may be slipping a touch in the race to be the Yankees’ No. 5 starter. Perhaps Chamberlain is still battling the after-effects of a nasty case of the flu, which he spoke about after the game, but in any event the numbers didn’t look pretty in our writeup:
Chamberlain’s Spring Training ERA sits at 27.00 after he gave up six
runs on five hits and three walks over 2 1/3 innings on Wednesday, but Hughes stepped in and allowed a solo home run among three hits, striking out two and walking none over 2 2/3 innings.
Just for comparison, the New York Post declared that Joba will be facing the biggest Spring Training game of his young career when he faces the Astros on Tuesday.
The positive spin from the Yankees’ perspective is that there is still time for Chamberlain, Hughes and even the other competitors to make their ultimate impression. Girardi said early in camp that he wanted to have a fifth starter picked out by about March 25 or so, making this the official two-week warning for the races.
- Love this quote from Granderson -”On my iPhone, one of my bookmarks is still the Tigers’ Web site. There’s no reason for me to delete it.” I need to ask him if he’s reading Yankees.com too.