Notes from Yankees camp: outfield changes, lack of depth and Ichiro’s helmet tip

By far the biggest story of the day had to do with the Yankees’ outfield. After much speculation and discussion, the team is going to try out a new defensive configuration with Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson switching spots. Granderson has been the primary center fielder since coming over from Detroit in 2010. Gardner has played both positions while in pinstripes but thinks of himself as a center fielder. Funny, so does Granderson.

Granderson has only played 22 games in left field in his major league career and the last time it happened was in 2007 so if this change does happen, it will all fall on his shoulders.

To their credit, both players took all of the questions they fielded from the media in stride. Granderson went the “I’ll do whatever is best for the team” route.

“I’d love to play center,” Granderson said. “That’s what I’ve been playing. But at the same time, I just want to play in general. No matter where it happens to be, that’s where I want to be at. … I have played (left field) before, but it’s been a while, so I’ll have to get some balls back out there just to see how things are going. Just work with the lights, the sun and the angles, different things like that. And all of that just comes with getting repetitions.”

Another story gaining some traction is the Yankees’ depth chart. Both Chad Jennings of the Lohud Yankees Blog and Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote about the subject. While Sherman mainly focused on the pitching staff because of Phil Hughes‘ back injury, Jennings went through all of the positions and talked about how different 2013 will be than years past when the Yankees relied more on veteran like Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez and Freddy Garcia to fill in. This year they’re relying more on youth to plug in any holes they may have.

Today, some Yankee batters faced Hiroki Kuroda in batting practice and his fellow countryman, Ichiro Suzuki, took him deep. When the fans gave him an ovation, Ichiro tipped his helmet toward them.

In other news:

  • Robinson Cano spoke about how strange it’s going to be for him when he’ll be facing his Yankee teammates on March 6 as a member of the Dominican Republic’s WBC team.
  • That Alex Rodriguez guy is still rehabbing.
  • Did you remember that the Yankees had Dan Johnson? I didn’t and now I feel bad.
  • In case you missed it earlier, we included a link to this picture gallery from the New York Daily News. I promise, they’re great and not scary like Joba’s mustache picture from yesterday.