The Yankees have had something of an epidemic in Spring Training – of oblique strains. Perhaps this is a signing of some badly organised fitness regimes but it is causing a substantial difficulty as they approach opening day. Centrefield is Curtis Granderson’s, Leftfield is Brett Gardner’s, and rightfield belongs to Nick Swisher. But now Granderson may be unavailable for opening day because of that strain epidemic and Swisher is day-to-day having taken a batted ball off his foot.
Swisher should be ready but Granderson is probably not going to be. Greg Golson, who looks like the best defensive centrefielder if Granderson is not ready, was reassigned the day before Granderson went down. Now he looks like a possible recall.
Gardner looks likely to see at least some games leading off the lineup with Jeter moving down to no. 2 on those occasions.
A larger question looms over Andruw Jones. He has batted .200 in Spring Training which wouldn’t be so worrying if it wasn’t so consistent with his performances in recent regular seasons.
So the outfield looks very thin if someone should get injured and that injury is significant enough to take them onto the DL. Colin Curtis is out indefinitely. We don’t look inclined to test out Melky Mesa yet. If I was in charge, I’d be cutting Andruw Jones about now but who would you bring in? Why, oh, why did we think not re-signing Marcus Thames was the way to go.
Outside shot: Granderson won’t be available for the first few days and Golson will be called up and do something so amazing in the field or on the basepaths that we will immediately give up on Andruw Jones. A more likely scenario has Jones playing in left with Gardner in centre if Granderson is absent.
The Yankees will carry 4 outfielders on opening day and regrettably these are the ones who will be involved: