Rumor has it that outfielder Curtis Granderson will be making his return to the Yankee lineup tonight.
Who would have ever thought manager Joe Girardi would have to seriously weigh lineup options just to squeeze in at bats for his All Star slugger? But that just may be the case.
As CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman notes, the fill-in and stop-gap players New York acquired to parole the outfield until Granderson’s return have been doing just fine so far.
Many had predicted this season to mark a drastic decline from the long-standing Yankee success of the 90s and 2000s. The hope in the Bronx was that the team could tread water through April and May and not fall too far behind in the division race before they began getting their several disabled players back and ready to play again.
Instead, New York has defied all preseason prognostications through the first month and a half of the season. The Yankees are 24-14 heading into tonight’s game, and sit alone atop an über-competitive American League East.
Their success to date is due in large part to their patchwork lineup, including those guys who have served as Granderson’s replacements.
Vernon Wells is hitting .299 -tied with Robinson Cano for the team lead – and has nine home runs and 22 RBIs, second only to Cano in team rankings for each.
Lyle Overbay isn’t hitting for as good an average, but has been a more than effective run producer with six homers and 22 RBIs of his own.
Travis Hafner has pitched in with and additional six home runs and 18 RBIs.
Granderson’s will be the first return from the disabled list of several Yankees stars. His presence will only bolster a lineup that currently ranks 14th in the majors in run production.
Seeds All Day will never sleep on the New York Yankees. No matter how bleak their prospects seem, they always seem to somehow and someway perform among the highest of levels. There’s just something magical about that team in the pin stripes.
As Granderson is worked back into the everyday lineup, it’s getting exciting to think about what this team might be capable of once at full strength.