J.A. Happ’s misplaced fastball didn’t only break Curtis Granderson’s arm. It might have destroyed the Yankees plan to realign the outfield. With no time for Granderson to learn a new position, Joe Girardi said today that he might give up on the idea of moving Granderson to left
“There’s a chance I’m going to abandon it,” Girardi said. “… I don’t know how many games he would have in his rehab coming back, and that’s a concern for me. So I want him to be comfortable wherever he’s at, because his bat’s real important to us.”
It was no accident that Brett Gardner started in left field today. Girardi explained that, if Melky Mesa takes Granderson’s spot on the roster, then the Yankees will likely use Mesa in center field — against left-handers, anyway — and put Gardner back in left. But if the Yankees temporarily replace Granderson with a corner outfielder, then Gardner will stay in center until Granderson rejoins the team.
“It could be, hypothetically, Zoilo Almonte,” Girardi said. “(In that case) Gardy goes to center, Ich goes to left, Zoilo goes to right. Or (Juan) Rivera, I could do it that same way. Until I sort out what we have, it’s going to be kind of difficult to determine how we do it.”
• The Yankees are suddenly red hot! Second win in a row is a 5-2 win against the Red Sox, and Adam Warren once again pitched well in Fort Myers (he had a good start there last spring). Today Warren allowed one run on one hit through three innings. The one hit was a Mike Napoli homer. “Did a really good job,” Girardi said. “I thought his changeup was good, I thought his breaking ball was good, I thought he threw the ball great.”
• Warren was good, but it’s hard to ignore what Jose Ramirez has done this spring. Today he got in and out of trouble twice, each time he let a runner reach second base with no outs but but stranded the runner. “Ramirez threw great,” Girardi said. “Got first and second, nobody out, gets out of the inning. That’s big for a young kid, and you’re facing guys you’re going to see on NESN all year long.
• Ramirez has a big fastball, but that’s not what Girardi picked out as Ramirez’s best pitch. “Changeup,” Girardi said. “Tremendous, too. His ball stays at the knees. He stays down, with power.”
• Tyler Austin is quietly off to a good start this spring. He had his second double today and he’s batting .571 in fairly limited at-bats. Also having a good spring with limited at-bats: J.R. Murphy. He, too, had his second double today.
• There weren’t many big leaguers on this trip. The biggest name was Gardner, who had another hit and drew another walk as the Yankees leadoff hitter. He’s hitting .563 this spring. … Eduardo Nunez also had a hit, and he drove in a run. … Juan Rivera and Jayson Nix each went 0-for-3 in the middle of the order.
• Two more errors today, one by Rob Segedin and one by Addison Maruszak, who’s made three errors this spring. I’ve actually been impressed with how strong Maruszak’s arm is, but obviously the Yankees are trying to get away from utility types who make some errors. Given the lack of upper level shortstops, Maruszak could get another chance to play that position regularly this year.
• Adonis Garcia was supposed to play off the bench today, but he was scratched because of a sore wrist. Sounds like a very minor situation.
• Forgot to mention this morning that Boone Logan’s MRI was a full dye-contrast MRI, so the Yankees got a pretty thorough look at it before determining that he has nothing more than inflammation. “My strength’s good, everything’s good, my arm wants to go, it wants to throw, and it’s just kind of one of those little annoying feelings,” Logan said. “I’m tired of feeling it. If I keep going and it doesn’t go away, it would make for a long year.”
Associated Press photos