Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spring Training Notes 2/21/13: Gardner and Granderson switch outfield positions

[caption id="attachment_14909" align="alignright" width="300"]Brett Gardner could be the Yankees CF on Opening Day--if Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman like what they see Brett Gardner could be the Yankees CF on Opening Day--if Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman like what they see[/caption]

Good evening everyone and welcome to another Spring Training report! As we know all winter, there had been speculation about if Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson would switch positions when the 2013 season began. As of today, Joe Girardi is toying with the idea of having Gardner and Granderson switch during Spring Training.

"If we're going to experiment, now's the time." Girardi told

Curtis Granderson had been repeatedly asked about the impending switch, causing the outfielder confusion. Granderson went to Girardi, wondering if there was fuel under the fire and apparently, there was. Girardi stressed to Granderson that none of the changes were permanent, and Granderson told the same thing to the media, along with the idea that he loved to play center field.

"I'd love to play center." Granderson told the media. "That's what I've been playing. At the same time, I want to play, in general. No matter where it happens to be, that's where i want to be at."

So is Granderson disappointed or upset with the move?

"Not at all." Granderson said. "I'm playing. If I get benched, that's a different story. But I'm still playing."

To stress how differently this could feel for Granderson, he's only played 22 games in LF in his entire career. The last time he played LF was in 2007.  However, the switch seemed to make sense to the fans and of course to Brian Cashman.

"We have to decide whether it weakens us, or it makes us better." Cashman told YES analyst Jack Curry. We understand how Joe Girardi feels about the situation, we understand how Curtis Granderson feels about the situation and now we understand how Brian Cashman feels about the situation. But how does Brett Gardner feel about the situation?

"If we went out there and played right now, I'd go to center, I'd go to left, whatever. It doesn't really matter to me. I feel comfortable in either one of those spots." Gardner told New York Daily News reporter Mark Feinsand.

Did Gardner expect to be flip-flopped with Granderson in the outfield this season?

"Not really." Gardner said. "I've heard rumblings the last couple of years and it hasn't happened. I'm sure they'll (Yankees management) will look at whatever they need and make that decision, but I'm prepared for it."

In the meantime, the Yankees will test the move out in Spring Training, in order to see if it will work, but I believe switching Granderson and Gardner in the outfield is the right idea. Do you?


-- Speaking of Gardner and Granderson, they along with Ichiro decided to play a trick on the beat writers at Spring Training today. While they were doing their normal routine, Gardner suddenly went to right field, Granderson went to center and Ichiro went to left, causing many of them to become confused. Ichiro then moved to center field and Granderson joined Gardner in right. When LoHud Yankees tweeted that he figured Gardner, Granderson and Ichiro were messing with them, it turns out according to Brett Gardner, he was right.

"We noticed a couple of you guys noticed when we were out there." Gardner told LoHud. "So we tried to move me to right and Ichiro to center so you guys would really figure something weird was going on."

I'm beginning to think the Yankees need to be careful when they put Ichiro and Gardner together. Those two together have been hilariously dangerous this Spring.

-- Mark Montgomery is feeling a lot better in his back and went through drills with no issues. He's scheduled to have a bullpen tomorrow.

-- Whose starting in Center Field on Saturday for the Yankees? "Melky Mesa." Girardi said. Not sure if he was joking, but it would make sense to put Mesa in a game or two. He's playing in the World Baseball Classic (which I was sadly told is not going to be on MLB.TV).


  1. Early part of camp isn't very exciting but its interesting to hear about the young kids. Chad Jennings @ LoHud provides a lot of Camp Notes about the prospects. Some interesting tidbits:

    - Girardi is impressed with some of the big-time arms from kids this early in camp, guys throwing mid 90s. "We haven’t had that (in recent years), and we have it right now. I know they’re young, but it’s kind of exciting.” He specifically mentioned Bryan Mitchell, Jose Ramirez & Corey Black

    - Corban Joseph and Rob Segedin are working out at 3B. If Joseph can play a passable 3B it greatly improves his stock as his bat is nearly MLB-ready. Segedin is a pretty good hitting prospect who was moved to OF last yr but also has much more value as a 3B if he can play the position

    - I said Ramon Flores reminded me of Bobby Abreu in our Top 40 Prospect List for his patience & sweet lefty swing and someone agrees with me. AAA Hitting Coach Butch Wynegar said his nickname for Flores is "Bobby" as in Bobby Abreu. Says he just has a knack for hitting.Flores continues to get rave reviews from everyone who sees him.

  2. Kevin aka RobbinsDynastyFebruary 22, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Ichiro does seem to be a sort of funny man in the outfield. I have a picture of Ichiro with Gardner, Heathcott and Tyler Austin with the three cracking a smile while Ichiro just finished saying something to the group. Your thoughts on Flores are spot. The guy just knows how to hit. I just hope the Yankees have a spot for him in the outfield when its time for him to make it to the big leagues? A lot of outfield talent making its way up between 2014-2015. To those young arms to look at add Goody as another guy to add to their pitching depth.

  3. fish, why wouldn't the Yanks move Austin back to 3rd base, it seems like a no brainer to me with all the young outfielders like Williams,Heathcott, and Flores coming up.

  4. Doug....I know they talked about it this Winter but eventually decided to leave him in RF for now. He wasn't considered a great defensive 3B and they had Dante Bichette at the same level to start 2012 so they moved him to RF. Then he showed he was much better in RF than he was at 3B or 1B. I guess they just feel that his best MLB position is RF so not to mess with him now.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)