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Pregame notes: Waiting for Granderson

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Yankees Mariners BaseballLast season, when he was on his way to a career-high in homers, Curtis Granderson was asked to be a part of the Home Run Derby. Granderson told the league he couldn’t do it.

“I can’t go up there and say I’m going to hit a home run and do it,” he said. “I’m like the worst guy to do that. When I let it happen, things just tend to happen and take care of themselves.”

That’s Granderson’s approach right now with the Yankees. He knows he’s struggling, but he trusts that his .233 average will rebound. Granderson said he’s never been one to watch a ton of video — “Everything both good and bad always seems to look the same to me,” he said — and he usually goes with whatever the coaching staff suggests as far as more or less pregame work in the cage.

“It looked like he was getting hot right before the break, and he was starting to swing the bat, but he’s struggled a little bit lately,” Joe Girardi said. “This is a guy that has hit .260, .270, .280 but right now he seems to be in a little funk. I don’t know if it was the four-day layoff. Maybe it was bad timing for him.”

Maybe, but even Granderson said he didn’t feel especially hot during that weekend series in Seattle. He feels physically fine, no linger impact from the groin injury, but he said this is longest slow stretch of his career.

“It still hasn’t locked itself in,” Granderson said. “But it’s there, I know it’s there, it just has to pull itself out.”

Angels Yankees Baseball• Starting in left field for the Angels: Hideki Matsui.

• Girardi said he wants to be careful with some guys during this 17-game stretch. It’s hot out and he wants to give guys — Jorge Posada for example — a little bit of a breather when he can. He said he might DH both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez before the end of the home stand.

• The Yankees have faced Angels starter Joel Pineiro twice this season, but they haven’t seen him since April. He shut them down in New York on April 14, but the Yankees scored six runs off him on April 14.

• Asked yet again about the bullpen, Girardi said he’s been happy with the improvements Boone Logan has made — much better command than earlier in the season — but he acknowledged that the team needs more out of Chan Ho Park. “He’s still a guy that we need to pitch at a higher level,” Girardi said.

• With the trade deadline approaching, Girardi said he doesn’t look at his team any differently. “I don’t think I evaluate our team differently,” he said. “You say this is what we’ve got. This is where we maybe need to improve, but that doesn’t mean you’re able to do it. Sometimes the best trades are the ones that aren’t made. We have some guys that are going to be given an opportunity.”

• Check it out, Bobby Wilson is alive and well. He’s the guy who was crushed by Mark Teixeira in a home plate collision in Anaheim back in April. It was Wilson’s first major league start, but he missed the next 21 games because of a sprained ankle and a concussion.

Erick Aybar SS
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu DH
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui LF
Mike Napoli 1B
Juan Rivera RF
Kevin Frandsen 3B
Bobby Wilson C

Associated Press photos of Granderson, and of Matsui with Jeter