This has been a frustrating Yankee season, to say the least. The combination of injuries and austerity has sucked some of the fun out of following my favorite team. Losing is part of the game. But it isn’t exactly engaging to know that your team is losing because of a poor combination of frailty and management stinginess. That’s why these past few weeks have been such a breath of fresh air. Suddenly Yankee fans are getting a taste of the team they could have had. Hate him or really hate him, Alex Rodriguez can still hit, certainly better than guys Continue reading Do the Yankees have a run in them?
After the Yankees made a roster move to add a pitcher for yesterday’s second doubleheader game, speculation started almost immediately about what it meant. Brett Marshall was added as extra bullpen insurance, insurance that wasn’t needed, but Brennan Boesch getting sent down to clear a spot was the real story because it could mean only one thing. Curtis Granderson was ready to come back.
Joe hinted at it in his postgame presser, Donnie Collins added fuel to the fire with his report, and Granderson himself all but confirmed it last night on Twitter. He’s on his way to New York to meet up with the team today, and with Corban Joseph having to go back down to Triple-A immediately after yesterday’s game the expectation is that C-Grand will be activated off the DL to fill that roster spot and will be in the starting lineup for tonight’s game.
If that’s the plan tonight, then it couldn’t be happening at a better time. The Yanks have just completed a successful but taxing road trip, their bench is painfully short, and the lineup as a whole is starting to show a little bit of that “all or nothing”-ness that was expected before the season. The return of C-Grand to the lineup and the locker room should serve as the little shot in the arm this group probably needs right now to keep their momentum going and as the first reminder to everybody that the cavalry is still coming.
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According to most defensive metrics, Curtis Granderson had an awful 2012. Even the eye test told a tale of a center fielder misplaced on a team filled with more adept outfielders. The collective online Yankee community is in agreement that sending Granderson to left field, and giving him less area to cover, will help stop his defensive regression. The Yankees don’t agree.
When a player is visually struggling, you usually go to the stats to see how long and how poorly they’ve played. When a player suddenly puts up awful numbers, you usually go to the video to see why the numbers are degrading. This generation of baseball enthusiasts is lucky enough to have the numbers, analysis, and video available instantaneously on the internet, and it allows us to judge team’s decisions in a more scientific and thorough way than ever before. But when it comes to defense, the amount of data and the way we analyze it is still in its infancy.
To give you an idea of the reliability of today’s defensive statistics, Curtis Granderson’s 2012 -18.2 UZR/150 was the worst in all of baseball, while his RZR ranked well above average at 10th overall, placing him between BJ Upton and Andres Torres. You can also trace this yearly, and see that his UZR/150 has fluctuated from 7.9 in 2010 (the fourth best center fielder), to -5.3 in 2011 (12th ranked center fielder), to finally the worst ranked center fielder last season. This isn’t the first time UZR/150 has had mixed feelings, in 2006 and 2007, Granderson put up a 13.6 and 14.6 UZR/150, followed by a 2008 that dropped to -11.9.
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With Curtis Granderson down and out for ten weeks or so, the Yankees have a hole in left field. No injury can have an upside though there can be silver linings. “Luckily,” a lot of Granderson’s rehab time will be taken up by Spring Training and he’ll be back in early May. But on that not-so-lucky side, since it’s Spring Training, the market for outfielders is pretty thin and obviously, the timing isn’t great. There are, however, some internal options. Though it should be obvious, let’s just cross of Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams. Ramon Flores, who’s on the 40-man Continue reading Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
There’s a lot to say about this year’s offseason, but most of it is far from positive. The Yankee front office typically aims for a 95 to 100 win team, but this year it looks like they may barely get to 90. Will it be enough? We won’t know until the season is over, but no AL East team looks exceptionally good. Even with the current roster, most reports have the Blue Jays or the Yankees as favorites. The Yankees usually go above and beyond to put together a team that’ll leave the rest of the division far behind them, Continue reading Time To Trade For An Outfielder
Yankee spring training has gotten off to a rough start. By now everyone knows that Curtis Granderson will be out until early May with a fractured forearm. That’s a huge loss for the Yankees. Granderson’s 2012 may have paled in comparison to his 2011, but he’s still a critical bat in the Yankee lineup. His absence will be felt immediately. The most glaring weakness that comes from Curtis’ injury is the loss of power. Granderson’s OBP may be inconsistent, but he’s managed 40+ homers each of the past few seasons. That’s production I’d rather have on the team than on Continue reading An outfield made of glass?
There aren’t many ways this Spring Training could have gotten off to a worse start. In his first at-bat of his first ST game of 2013, a game he started as the left fielder rather than the center fielder, Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch from Toronto starter J.A. Happ on the right arm and immediately left the game. After first being called a “bruised right forearm” by the team, X-rays confirmed that Granderson suffered a fractured right forearm and is expected to be out for 10 weeks. According to Jack Curry, that 10 weeks includes time for both Continue reading Curtis Granderson Out 10 Weeks With A Fractured Right Forearm
Joe Girardi recently announced that Brett Gardner will be taking over in center for Curtis Granderson. On the surface this seems like a logical baseball decision. By all measures, Gardner isn’t just the better defensive outfielder, he’s the best defensive outfielder in the game. The real question, from a baseball perspective, is why the Yankees ever put Granderson in center at all. But we all know the answer to that. When the Yankees first traded for Granderson they made it clear that he was the Yankee centerfielder of the future. The Yankees gave Curtis centerfield to make him happy, to Continue reading When is moving Brett Gardner to center about more than just defense?
There hasn’t been much talk about a Curtis Granderson extension since last year. On Monday, we learned that the center fielder is open to extension talks with the Yankees, saying, “I’d be a fool not to.” But before Granderson had anything to say about playing with the Yankees beyond 2013, it was hard to imagine how the organization could fit another 8 figure annual salary into their planned 2014 budget. As it stands, the team barely has $50 million to spend without Robinson Cano next season, and locking up another player in their 30’s might not be the brightest plan. Continue reading A Curtis Granderson Extension