In the Yankees clubhouse, there are two kinds of immediate reactions to the latest Curtis Granderson injury. The most obvious is the one Joe Girardi discusses in the video above: There were tangible moves to make. Granderson was placed on the 15-day disabled list, Brennan Boesch was called up from Triple-A, and instead of putting an outfielder at DH against a lefty, Travis Hafner stayed in the lineup.
But those are only the nuts and bolts of the situation. The heart of the matter is this.
“I think the feelings that we have right now, there’s a sadness for Curtis,” Girardi said. “It’s a big year for him. He’s a big player for our lineup. And there’s a sadness that he’s going through it again. We understand it, and we know how to deal with it, but you feel bad for a guy with what he’s had to go through. He missed, what, 10 weeks before. Now he’s going to be out a while again. And you feel bad for the guy.”
Last night, David Phelps called the situation “heartbreaking.” This morning, Mark Teixeira said he “had tears in (his) eyes” when he said goodbye to Granderson. It’s become an odd daily ritual checking in on all of the injured guys. Just today, the beat writers moved as a group to ask Phelps about his forearm, to ask Hiroki Kuroda about his calf and to ask Andy Pettitte about his back.
“I think you roll with the punches,” Girardi said. “Because you have to.”
• Teixeira played five innings in today’s extended spring training game. He had five at-bats and things went as planned. He’s still expected to take tomorrow off, play Monday and Tuesday in extended spring, and then go to Trenton for two official rehab games.
• Kevin Youkilis played three innings today, which means three at-bats and three innings at third base. Girardi said Youkilis had a pair of doubles. While the Youkilis schedule isn’t as clear as Teixeira’s, it’s entirely possible that Youkilis will also be rehabbing in Trenton in a few days. “It seems like he’s a couple innings behind (Teixeira),” Girardi said. “That’s something they’ll have to decide at that point. Anything’s possible.”
• As planned, Joba Chamberlain threw two innings in an extended spring training game. He was — of course — hit in the calf by a comebacker, but he’s fine. “It could be his last appearance (before being activated),” Girardi said. “The one thing we know is that he needs a couple days off after throwing two innings. That’s to build his stamina a little bit and his arm strength. It could be his last appearance.”
• Andy Pettitte threw his scheduled bullpen today and said he felt fine. He’ll throw a simulated game in the next few days. “I think they want to see how I feel tomorrow, make sure everything is good,” Pettitte said. “I think the plan would be a sim game after that, try to go ahead and see how it feels. The seven days I took off is not that long of a break, as built up as I was. With this bullpen, I felt good, so I think we could go right into a game and see how it goes.”
• Hiroki Kuroda also threw a bullpen today and said his calf was mildly sore, but nothing that should keep him from making his next start. “There’s a little tightness,” Kuroda said. ” It’s not zero, it’s not like I don’t feel anything, but I’ll be OK.”
• David Phelps had his right forearm wrapped and said it’s a little sore. If he’s not able to throw his regular bullpen tomorrow, he might do a light one on Monday. He still expects to make his next start. “We’ll see how it feels when I go out and throw tomorrow,” Phelps said. “I’ll take the day off (today) from throwing, just give it a chance to settle down a little bit.”
• Normal day off for Chris Stewart. Girardi said the plan all along was for Stewart to play last night, rest today, then play tomorrow. It helps that Austin Romine and Vidal Nuno know one another well.
• What happens when David Huff shows up? Not really sure. Maybe Vidal Nuno goes back down, Ivan Nova or Adam Warren gets a spot start next week, then Preston Claiborne goes down when Chamberlain is activated? That’s just a guess. Claiborne doesn’t deserve a demotion, but with Rivera, Robertson, Chamberlain and Kelley, there might not be many innings for Claiborne and he might be better off pitching regularly in Triple-A. Regardless, the 40-man situation just keeps getting more interesting. Also worth wondering if the Yankees might try to immediately pass Huff through waivers so they can send him to the minors. Worked with Sam Demel.
Associated Press photo