Saturday, May 25, 2013
The Yankees have excelled at playing with a short-handed roster this season, but there was a belief they were about to get most of their big stars back in the picture. Instead, there’s a new problem to handle.
Curtis Granderson suffered a left hand fracture and will miss a minimum of four weeks, a loss that soured the celebratory mood of the Yankees’ 9-4 victory over the Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
“I think our team has had a lot of practice at it this year, so they’re prepared for this, unfortunately,” manager Joe Girardi said. “These guys know how to deal with it. They know you have to come out and play every day.”
The Yankees have had 13 players on the disabled list this season, and Granderson will be back on the shelf by the time the club takes the field on Saturday afternoon. Robinson Cano said that even though the Yankees are in first place, they’d still like to feel whole again at some point.
“This is something that I don’t think that you’re ever going to be used to,” Cano said. “The last thing you want is to see your teammates go down, especially a guy like Grandy. He worked back here, missed Spring Training, and then to get hurt like that—you just feel bad.”
The Yankees survived another late injury scare as starter David Phelps, pitching a career-high 7 2/3 innings, hung a curveball and was smoked by a Ben Zobrist line drive on his 98th and final pitch of the game.
It really isn’t even funny anymore (okay, I’ll admit, it is still a little funny in the sort of “Seriously? SERIOUSLY?” way). Thank goodness that David Phelps was just bruised. He’ll likely make his next start. Granderson, meanwhile, will be out for at least four weeks. The local community must have built a Granderson voodoo doll to keep Ben Francisco on the team. Can anyone believe that Ben Francisco is seriously going to make it into June (and possibly July) as a Yankee? I would imagine that there would at least be some consideration now with giving Mustelier a chance at some point with Francisco’s roster spot, now that the Yankees know that they’ll need another outfielder for another month. Or perhaps a more fungible player like Thomas Neal? Neal, by the way, is donating $20 for every hit to Oklahoma relief (until the All-Star Break). That’s a big gesture for a guy not making a ton of money.
As for tonight, the offense was on fire and Phelps picked a typical Phelpsian start (not great but good enough).
Tomorrow is Vidal Nuno against Matt Moore. Well, that’s not good.
Update(SG): I had to add this tidbit because it’s absolutely amazing. Courtesy of Chad Jennings at Lohud:
Discussing a possible call-up postgame, Girardi actually forgot that Ben Francisco is on the roster (hard to blame him). Girardi mentioned having only three outfielders and being willing to use Jayson Nix in the outfield if necessary. Reminded of Francisco, Girardi reversed course. “Oh yeah, Francisco,” he said. “Four (outfielders). So disregard what I said. I don’t know what we’ll do. We have so many roster issues, I’m not sure what we’re going to do.”
Anyway, get well soon Grandy.