Curtis Granderson delivered a base hit in his first rehab game on Friday and is now able to play a full nine innings. Granderson has been out since early in Spring Training when he broke his arm on a pitch from J.A. Happ, but appears to be ready to return to the Yankees’ outfield, most likely to left field.
Granderson played his first rehab game with the with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and came away excited.
“The biggest thing was, it was [my] first night game,” Granderson said. “First game with shadows, first game with two-strike battles. I just wanted to hit the ball hard. First day was definitely an exciting one.”
Fantasy Play: There are a lot of moving parts here, but if any league was foolish enough not to store Curtis away on a long-term DL spot, snatch him up immediately. It’s likely Granderson will return in the next few days and when he does, the Yankees’ lineup and entire outfield could be impacted. Granderson was originally designed for left field in spring training, but because he was injured on the first day, the Yankees decided he would return back to center field (his familiarity) instead. Now, with Brett Gardner playing superior defense, the initial plan is back in play.
Granderson will play every day, except possibly against some lefties, which means Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki should see some reduced playing time. The Yankees have been playing Granderson in all three outfield positions, which means him and Ichiro offer versatility, while Wells offers a right-handed bat and Gardner offers the most speed and defense.
This situation will eventually work itself out or Manager, Joe Girardi may simply play the hottest hand, but Granderson offers an immediate middle of the order bat and 40 home run power to a lineup in sore need. Ben Francisco is likely to be removed from the roster when Granderson returns.