Curtis Granderson, in his first spring training at bat, was hit by a pitch thrown by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ. The pitch ended up hitting Granderson on the right forearm, fracturing it. The Yankees have him projected to return around May, which would be around 10 weeks the center fielder will miss. This injury isn’t the first to hit the Yankees, who don’t know how long they will be without Alex Rodriguez for, and are waiting for Derek Jeter to return. The Yankees plan was to have Granderson play left field in 2013, with Brett Gardner, a better defensive player, shifting to center. Now, those plans seem to have hit a bump in the road, as Gardner will likely be moved back to his normal position in left field.
Losing Granderson isn’t only bad news defensively speaking, it is also bad for the offense. As stated in my Yankees preview, the Yankees lost 94 home runs when Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ilbanez, Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones left in the offseason. Now Granderson, who hit 43 home runs last year (despite his ridiculous strikeout rate), is out of the lineup. The Yankees will have to look for someone who can not only play above average defense, but add some scoring as well. The Yankees started off 2013 in a bad way, and it just got worse with Granderson being out.
Granderson reacts to being hit.