Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New York Yankees’ slugger Curtis Granderson sidelined for 10 weeks with broken arm

The New York Yankees are going to be missing quite a bit of offensive power when the Major League Baseball season gets underway as slugger Curtis Granderson has joined Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list. Granderson led the team in home runs last season with 43, but is set to miss at least the first eight weeks of the upcoming season after being struck by a pitch during a preseason game and breaking his arm.

The outfielder was making his first plate appearance in a Grapefruit League contest on Feb. 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays when left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ nailed him with a fastball in the first inning of the game in Tampa, Florida. The pitch struck Granderson in the right forearm and the 31-year-old left the game immediately. The three-time MLB all-star also drove in 106 runs last season, but his batting average was just .232.

Granderson was naturally disappointed with the news that he’ll miss a good portion of the season. He said he was feeling great and was looking forward to opening day and everything changed for him after just five pitches. He admitted that things could have been worse, so he’ll just have to rest and recover and get back to action as soon as the arm is properly healed, which will likely be sometime early in May.

The Yankees will now have to alter their plans somewhat as they had planned on starting Granderson in the outfield along with Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner. Joe Girardi, the club’s manager, said the team will have to decide on a replacement for Granderson, but his bat will definitely be hard to replace. The absence of Granderson and Rodriguez will make it hard for the Yankees to repeat as winners of the American League East Division this season as runs will be harder to come by.

As well as having Granderson and Rodriguez on the sidelines, the Yankees will also be without Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, and Andruw Jones from last year’s teams as all of these players have moved on to other MLB teams. In Jones; case, he’s left the continent and will be continuing his baseball career in Japan. These players combined for 155 home runs for New York last season.

Girardi realizes the team won’t be able to rely on the long ball as much this year and will have to produce runs in a more creative manner. With so many of last season’s players leaving the team, Girardi will be giving a long look to some non-roster players in spring training. These include Juan Rivera, Zoilo Almonte, Melky Mesa, Adonis Garcia, and Matt Diaz.

Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, said it’s too early to tell who will and won’t make the team this spring since the preseason games just got underway. He said the team’s scouts will be busy looking at players in their own organization as well as across the league. Granderson received a call from Happ after breaking his arm to see how he was doing and said he realizes it was just an accident as the pitcher was just trying to pitch him inside.

Granderson said what’s done is done and he had no control over the situation, so he’s just going to move forward and keep himself in shape mentally and physically. He added that nothing has changed in the long run other than the date of his season opener.

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