Girardi eyeing effects of outfield change
TAMPA, Fla. -- It's difficult to calculate exactly what kind of impact Brett Gardner's move to center field will have on the Yankees' defense. It's even more difficult to figure out what kind of effect, if any, the switch will have on Gardner and Curtis Granderson at the plate.
Both outfielders said Thursday they didn't think switching positions would negatively affect their offensive production. But manager Joe Girardi said it's something to keep an eye on, specifically with Granderson, as the spring goes on and they spend more time in their new roles.
"It's still a legit concern, how it affects him at the plate, how it affects his game," Girardi said. "That's something I'll think about.
"It could affect both of them. [Gardner has] played a little bit of center when we've given Grandy a day off, but Grandy really hasn't played left field."
Gardner offered that his defense has nothing to do with his offense, and Granderson said he's done enough moving around -- bouncing up and down the lineup, playing for different teams and so on -- to adapt on the fly.
"I've done everything," Granderson said. "It's just another one of those changes, and change is always a good thing."
But it's not easy to evaluate where a player stands during Spring Training, especially early on. The at-bats are few and far between, the pitchers are supposed to be ahead of the hitters and the bloated Spring Training rosters sometimes lead to unequal competition.
Girardi admitted that it won't be easy to gauge how the switch is affecting either player offensively or defensively during Spring Training, but he hoped the Yankees could figure it out over the next month and a half.
"We do have a lot of games, and hopefully we'll get a pretty good read on what we're going to see," Girardi said. "If people don't want to hit the ball to either one of them for the whole year, that's fine with me."