Curtis Granderson bounced into the Yankees’ clubhouse at Tropicana Field on Monday afternoon, bumping fists with several teammates as he showed off his new and improved, brace-free right arm.
Granderson has been rehabbing his arm in Tampa while the Yankees play on without him, but now that he’s started taking batting drills — he did his first tee-and-toss session Monday — the center fielder can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s going to be somewhere in May; I don’t know exactly when,” Granderson said. “Everything is looking pretty good. X-rays have all been good. Everything is feeling good each step that we’ve made. The big thing is that whenever I finally start playing, getting at-bats, getting timing and stuff. Once that day comes, we’ll have a little better evaluation.”
The Yankees’ offense has done quite well in the absence of Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, entering the week with the top OPS in the American League (.806) and were scoring 5.17 runs per game, second only to Oakland’s 5.26.
Adding Granderson’s power bat back to the lineup will provide a boost, though it will also create a logjam in the outfield, given Vernon Wells’ renaissance this season. Joe
Girardi has declined to speculate what he’ll do with his outfield when Granderson returns, though that still figures to be at least two or three weeks away.
“I still think it’s too early,” Girardi said when asked when Granderson might be back. “He just started doing tee and toss. He’s not doing BP yet or anything of that nature.
He’ll increase the tee and toss (Tuesday), and then probably try to increase it the next day and we’ll see where he’s at.”
In addition to his hitting drills, Granderson continues to take fly balls and go through his standard conditioning routine, making sure his body is in baseball shape when he begins to play in rehab games. Granderson suffered a fractured right forearm on Feb. 24 during his first at-bat of the spring, knocking him out for the rest of camp.