Outfielder triples in Trenton's victory, eyes return to Yankees
Special to MLB.com
TRENTON, N.J. -- Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson suffered a fractured right forearm when hit by a pitch from Toronto's J.A, Happ in the Yankees' first Spring Training game and didn't make his debut until May 14. Seven days later, he sustained a broken left little finger when he was struck by a pitch from Tampa Bay's Cesar Ramos.
Granderson's contribution to the 2013 Yankees amounts to eight games played, seven hits in 28 at-bats, with one double, one home run and one RBI. No one would blame him for being discouraged, but the veteran is taking an upbeat approach to his second rehabilitation assignment.
"All you can do is laugh about this, but you get better, heal up and come back," said Granderson, who went 1-for-3 -- including a triple -- for the Double-A Trenton Thunder in an 11-3 win over the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) before 6,378 fans at ARM & HAMMER Park on Tuesday. He is 3-for-12 in four rehabilitation games. "Why complain?
"Right now, it's all timing. I need to pick up about 18 at-bats in these games. Tonight was better than yesterday, and I hope tomorrow is better than today."
Granderson, who said both his wrist and finger, which was surgically repaired on May 29, are feeling fine and have passed his personal tests.
"Check swings, vibrations on the hands and wrist, body-wise all feels good," said Granderson. "Right now, I'm just trying to get my rhythm at the plate, get back to where I was.
"I'm hoping everything goes well tomorrow, not that I don't like it here, but I want to get back and help the team. We might be a bit down, but we're not out, and every piece that comes back changes the lineup.
"We have [Alfonso] Soriano now to help us, and I can't wait to play with him. I want to be part of helping us get back to the postseason."
Granderson faces a test with the turnaround from Tuesday night's game, which ended just past 10 p.m. ET, to Wednesday's 12:05 p.m. "Camp Day" start.
"I think I'll talk to the guys and maybe have a good snack before we play," said Granderson. "At least the temperatures won't be like they were in Tampa. At least the heat wave has passed."
The organization plans to see how Granderson performs, then decide if he needs to play another game with Trenton Thursday. He hopes to rejoin the Yankees this weekend in San Diego.
"I really thought Curtis looked good," said Thunder manager Tony Franklin. "He hit the ball hard twice and looked good at the plate. We'll see how he does with this quick turnaround and go from there."
Granderson knows he can only work to get closer to game shape, returning to his normal comfort level at the plate.
"The hitting is the whole thing," he said. "All I can do is control what I can control and get back."
Yankees left-hander David Phelps made his second rehabilitation start in the game, throwing 50 strikes in 76 pitches over four innings.
"I felt my command and my pitches were much better than my last start," said Phelps. "I'd like to be more economical with my pitches, but that will come. My arm feels great."