Do the Yankees have a run in them?

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 the Yankees had been putting at third before him (Al’s wRC+ is 114 this year). Alfonso Soriano is currently making Cubs fans wish they’d put some protection around him in the batting order. Curtis Granderson has come back to give the Bombers a .375 wOBA. And it should come as no surprise that at the same time that the Yankee lineup got so much deeper Robinson Cano has started hitting again, improving his season long numbers to .297/.382/.493 (far worse than what he’s done in years before, but still).… Click here to read the rest

The Grandy Man Returneth

Curtis Granderson - Candy Man

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.  … Click here to read the rest

Why It’s Hard To Question The Decision To Leave Granderson In Center Field

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.

AP Photo/Duane Burleson

AP Photo/Duane Burleson

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.… Click here to read the rest

Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson

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 roster and whose star seems to be rising, should be discounted because of the fact that he’s so young (he’ll turn 21 next month). That leaves us with Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa. For brief rundowns of those two, check out this post from Yanks Go Yard.

To add to it, the Yankees have expressed excitement about Almonte.… Click here to read the rest

Time To Trade For An Outfielder

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.

Reuters

The Yankees usually go above and beyond to put together a team that’ll leave the rest of the division far behind them, but they’ll lose $20+ million in payroll in 2014, and they have filled a lineup with one year deals and minor league gambles in preparation.  To replace Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano, and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees brought in Kevin Youkilis, Bobby Wilson, Shawn Kelley, Juan Rivera, and Matt Diaz.… Click here to read the rest

An outfield made of glass?

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 the bench. The Yankees don’t have any substitute on a lineup that was already missing a lot of pop due to injury or players leaving.

But this also means that the Yankees are that much more dependent upon Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki to stay healthy. That’s no small order. Gardner has been injury prone his entire career. Suzuki is 39 years old.… Click here to read the rest

Curtis Granderson Out 10 Weeks With A Fractured Right Forearm

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 recovery and rehab, which means Granderson could be back in the Yankee lineup by early May, but this is still a huge blow to a team that was already weakened offensively this past offseason.  Granderson has been the most consistent power source in the middle of the lineup for the past two years, and his absence will only further exaggerate the lack of power and lack of depth that could impact this year’s team.  … Click here to read the rest

When is moving Brett Gardner to center about more than just defense?

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 demonstrate that they were making a commitment to him as a player, even if it meant putting a weaker defense on the field.

Curtis is still on the team, but centerfield is no longer his position. Why make this move now? If anything, Gardner should have to audition for the job. He missed most of 2012 with injuries, while Curtis played 160 games.… Click here to read the rest

A Curtis Granderson Extension

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.

The Yankees will be losing a big chunk of their team in the upcoming offseason. Cano, Granderson, Kevin Youkilis, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, and potentially Derek Jeter will all be free agents come November. Offensively, if the team doesn’t re-sign Cano, Granderson, or Youkilis, the Yankees could be down around 90 home runs, and that’s after losing Nick Swisher and Russell Martin‘s 40+ home runs this season.… Click here to read the rest