The Granderson problem

Granderson’s struggles are palpable. His second half had these putrid numbers: .212/.278/.480. The Orioles’ starter tonight is Joe Saunders, a left-handed pitcher. Granderson’s strikeout rate the entire season against left-handers is 31.9 percent. And again, Granderson has struck out six times in this series in twelve plate appearances. It seems that Granderson is always in an 0-2 or 1-2 hole. It seems that he cannot stop himself from swinging at a ball outside the strike zone for the third strike. It seems that at this point of the proceedings, a Russell Martin plate appearance is much more appealing.

So what should Joe Girardi do? Andruw Jones is not on the roster, nor should be. And even with his struggles, Granderson drove in 56 runs in the second half and led the Yankees in that category for the season. Without him in the lineup, the Yankees do not seem so circular or scary. But with him in the lineup, there has been a black hole where his name is penciled in.

Granderson’s second half has already made his long-term viability for the Yankees seem to be a difficult equation. And that same conundrum exists in this series against the Orioles. The bottom line is that the only other options are to put Ibanez in left and Ichiro in center. But that weakens the defense and both are left-handed batters anyway. And Brett Gardner simply does not have enough game reps to consider losing Granderson’s power possibilities from a risk standpoint.

As always, A-Rod is the lightning rod. But Curtis Granderson has been a non-entity in this series.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at since 2003.

10 thoughts on “The Granderson problem

  1. I've said this for a while now. I hope the Yankees do NOT offer him a long term deal. In fact If I'm the Yankees I let him walk after this year. Sign Ichiro for a year and go into the 2013 season with an outfield of: Gardner in CF, Ichiro in LF and Swisher in RF. Of course that means re-signing Swisher. Then in 2014 see if any of the highly touted outfield prospects for the Yankees are ready to take over for Ichiro.

    • I'd rather have Granderson as a bridge to prospects than Ichiro.

      Keep Grandy for 2013 to see if he can turn it around. Reasonable salary, and it he bats 6th, 7th, or 8th, the offensive production isn't be so bad. (But you must replace him for defense in late innings!) Then let him walk after 2013. I think this is Ichiro's last spurt, and he's more likely to revert to his putrid 2011-2012 production.

      • I disagree with you about Ichiro. Yankee Stadium is ideal for Ichiro as opposed to Safeco. Plus the fact Granderson is worth something to the Yankees in the way of a draft choice. They can not exercise his $15MM option offer him a qualifying offer of the $13MM plus it's estimated to be. If he turns it down the Yankees get a sandwiched draft pick if he accepts the Yankees can trade him for player or players from the team that wants him. In my opinion it's a win/win situation for the Yankees.
        Plus moving him fits into the stated goal of the Yankees ownership of getting below the $189MM luxury tax threshold for the 2014 season.

    • I'd rather sign Granderson to a new deal than Swisher. Rumor is Nick wants Jayson Werth money when his contract is up at the end of the season. Re-signing him is a big commitment I don't think the Yankees should make. Swisher has been just as bad as Granderson this series too, he's 1-35 with RISP in his playoff history (something like that). I'm hoping one of the two can bounce back tonight, but I'm leaning towards Gardner/Granderson/Suzuki in left/center/right in 2013.

      • Signing Granderson to a long term deal will take more money and probably more years then the Yankees are willing to commit to. Plus the fact Granderson is nowhere near the defensive player Swisher is. As for the "rumors" of what Swisher is looking for. They are exactly that "rumors". Besides who of us wants Granderson manning CF for the Yankees when he's 34, 35 or 36 years old. Granderson will be 32 when next season starts. Even a 4 year deal will have him playing CF when he's 35 years old. He's defensively challenged now imagine in 4,5 or 6 years. Some of the greatest CF'ers in Yankees history couldn't man CF at 35 or 36 years old and they were much much better than Granderson will ever be or has been.

  2. To be fair, everyone outside of Jeter and Martin haven't been hitting this series. But at the very least, we are seeing them put the bat on the ball (minus A-rod, who has been striking out as well). I've complained about Granderson MANY times in the past, but this has to be the final straw. He's just not making contact and not even giving him or his team a shot by striking out. I'm sick of watching him come up to the plate and going back to the dugout 3 pitches later. I know Gardner doesn't have the reps, but i'm sure he'd be more willing to lay down a bunt and has the ability to slap a single. He's faster and could probably work a walk too. Granderson just doesn't deserve to be in their right now.

  3. Exactly, Will. Granderson should be paying A-Rod for distracting everyone; if Alex wasn't so deep in his funk, more folks would have time to notice that Granderson isn't doing much better. If Rodriguez was even hitting to his average, folks would have time to notice that Granderson is hopeless – he looks like he did his first season, when Joe sat him down and Long worked his magic.

    Time to give it one more try – even if it means putting Gardner in. Or – at the very least, should we win tonite, have Long spend the next three days trying to fix Curtis. I saw the same game you did – Grandy seems happy to just swing three times and sit back down. I forget WHICH one it was, but in one ab, he swung over two gopher balls and then under the third offering – that was at lip level.

    Cano was bad enough with his discipline last night; Granderson takes it to another level.

  4. I'd keep Grandy and Ichiro and let Swisher walk. For todays' game. what are our options??? Bat Grandy 9th and hope he gets lucky…….

  5. Replace Grandy with Ibanez, a lefty who can actually make contact with the ball, move Ichiro to center and DH Nunez. This way you have Granderson on the bench to match up with a right hander if needed. Ibanez hurts a little with the glove, but Ichiro is better in center than the late breaking Granderson.

  6. Offer Granderson and Nunez to the Mets for Wright,resign Ichiro and and Swisher(IF price is right)and move Gardener to cf