Throughout the offseason, there was rampant speculation regarding a possible swapping of positions by left fielder Brett Gardner and center fielder Curtis Granderson. After being noncommittal throughout the early stages of spring training, Joe Girardi finally opened the door for the switch on Thursday. YES Network’s Jack Curry reported early Thursday morning that Granderson would take outfield practice in left field for the first time during the team’s daily workout.
Later in the workout, Granderson, Gardner, and right fielder Ichiro Suzuki rotated through the positions. However, it is important to note that Granderson did begin the workout in left field, which will fuel speculation of the switch leading up to the team’s Grapefruit League opener on Saturday.
Girardi wandered down to the batting cage for Granderson’s hitting session earlier this morning, presumably to inform him of the decision. If this becomes a permanent move, as YES Network’s Jack Curry believes it is, it could significantly strengthen the Yankees outfield defensively as they head into the 2013 season.
After the session, General Manager Brian Cashman indicated that Granderson and Gardner would see time in both left field and center field this spring.
Japanese dream matchup
Hiroki Kuroda threw live batting practice on Thursday, and he pulled the group that consists of the Yankees’ three starting outfielders and non-roster invitee Juan Rivera. Included in the group faced by Kuroda was Ichiro Suzuki, the poster boy of Japanese baseball. Ichiro had a few nice swings off his fellow countryman, including a home run that was followed by a tip of the helmet and a bow.
Both Dan Johnson and Corban Joseph are seeing time at third base today, and appear to be frontrunners for a bench position. With Eduardo Nunez and the four starting infielders already locked in, Joe Girardi seems to be looking to Johnson and Joseph as a replacement for the left-handed hitting Eric Chavez. Primarily a second baseman, Joseph will likely be able to get an extensive look at the plate in spring training while Robinson Cano is playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.