Joe Girardi told the media he had two announcements this morning.
1. Curtis Granderson is the team’s center fielder. It’s hardly a surprise, but really the Yankees could have started either Granderson or Brett Gardner in center and been just fine. Girardi said the Yankees see Granderson as an everyday player, and they don’t want him moving around. Gardner will get a chance to be an everyday-type player, but he still has to earn that, and he’ll move to center on the few days Granderson is not in the lineup.
2. Francisco Cervelli has a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring. He won’t play the rest of spring training, but Girardi is optimistic that he’ll be able to open the season on the active roster. “Right now, if I was to guess, he’s not a DL guy,” Girardi said.
• Just in case, Girardi said he needs to get Mike Rivera into some more games. Girardi didn’t go into specifics, but I have to assume Rivera will play Friday and Saturday just in case the Yankees need him to open on the big league bench. P.J. Pilittere has been getting a lot of playing time lately as well.
• Girardi didn’t commit to a full time platoon with Marcus Thames, but it certainly seems like Thames could get fairly regular playing time when a lefty is on the mound. “He’s definitely swung the bat pretty well off left-handers,” Girardi said. As for his glove, “he’s done a good enough job in the outfield” to make the Yankees believe Thames can handle left.
• Granderson said he only has a few autographs in his collection, but he was pretty pumped to get Pat Venditte to sign a ball. He thought it was cool that ESPN’s highlight of Tuesday’s game against the Braves was pretty much nothing but a Venditte highlight.
• Pitchers making the trip: A.J. Burnett, Royce Ring, Chan Ho Park, Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Pat Venditte, Craig Heyer and Lance Pendleton.
• Position players available off the bench: C P.J. Pilittere, C Mitch Abeita, 1B Juan Miranda, 3B Marcos Vechionacci, INF Walter Ibarra, OF Brett Gardner, OF Randy Winn and OF Dan Brewer.