New York Yankees starting centerfielder, Curtis Granderson, strained his right groin and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. The injury occurred in the sixth inning of Saturday's 7-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Similar injuries have kept players out up to four-six weeks.
How will this affect the Yankees?
In fact, it cost them Saturday's game.
When Granderson went out, the Yankees were forced to move Brett Gardner from leftfield to centerfield. Randy Winn went to left.
The 36-year old Winn was acquired for defense and the versatility of playing every outfield position.
Winn is showing signs of old age. He doesn't hit much, he's rarely not an automatic out, and has lost a step on the basepaths.
A.J. Pierzynski's two-run double in the top of the seventh, a key to yesterday's loss, Granderson's absence was immediately felt.
Due to Gardner having to shift to centerfield, Winn's old legs couldn't get to Pierzynski's game-winner. Gardner would have tracked it down for an out.
I was listening to the White Sox TV broadcast afterwards and when the ball was hit, the announcer was yelling, "...stretch, get over their heads.." to the ball, meaning that he thought the ball had a chance to be caught.
I did too.
Gardner was playing a shade or two to left center when lefty Damaso Marte was pitching to the left-handed Pierzynski. Gardner probably would have been more straight away or even right center if a right-handed pitcher was on the mound.
Gardner almost beat Winn to the ball from centerfield, and would have caught it if he was playing leftfield at the time.
I know the bullpen is a little thin, but the Yankees are making a mistake by bringing up Mark Melancon to replace Granderson on the roster.
While I am a huge fan of Melancon's, and want him in the majors, the Yankees need to replace C-Grand with another speedy outfielder.
Melancon should have come up to replace Boone Logan. And they could use their phantom DL placement for the struggling Marte.
Joe Girardi said he will go with Gardner in centerfield, and platoon Winn and Marcus Thames in leftfield.
That is a huge mistake.
I have written that Thames is a right handed designated/pinch hitter and should never see the field again.
Thames will now get lots of playing time out there, possibly costing the Yankees runs on defense.
The best thing the Yankees could have done to replace Granderson is bring up a speedy centerfielder.
Instead of Melancon replacing Granderson, the Yankees should have promoted Greg Golson from Triple A Scranton.
Golson was obtained in the offseason from the Texas Rangers for High A minor league infielder Mitch Hilligoss.
Golson was a 2004 first round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies, and is serviceable if used the correctly.
Defensively, put him in centerfield. He also adds speed on the bases.
He has hit .260 in Scranton with a couple homers, nine runs scored and a few stolen bases.
With the Yankees lineup as is, Golson does not need to provide offense, but any offense from him is gravy. I would rather give Golson playing time for his defense over a platoon in leftfield of Thames and Winn.
Thames is a hitter only and Winn is essentially done as a player.
With his defense and speed, Golson would help the Yankees win more games.
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