NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A big bat will be returning to the New York Yankees’ lineup. And no, we’re not talking about Alex Rodriguez.
Curtis Granderson will rejoin the Yankees for Friday night’s series opener at San Diego. He’s playing left field and batting fifth.
“I’m excited,” Granderson said, according the Yankees’ official website. “I’m anxious to help our team get back to the postseason. With (Derek) Jeter back, and with (Alfonso) Soriano now in the lineup, (Robinson) Cano will be getting more help.”
An errant pitch broke the outfielder’s right forearm during his first plate appearance of spring training. He made his season debut on May 14, and then suffered a fractured left pinkie ten days later on another hit-by-pitch.
Granderson is 7 for 28 with a solo home run in just eight games this season.
He led last year’s homer-happy Yankees with 43 dingers. This 2013 team has a different feel altogether. The Yankees (56-51) have hit just 91 home runs, the American League’s second-lowest total. Their offense has league-worst .368 slugging percentage.
But Jeter is back, and Granderson will be in the lineup on Friday. You won’t see the same power totals as last season, though having healthy regulars will be a big boost for the fourth-place Yankees.
“We’re starting to get a little bit healthier,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “You get Grandy back and the one thing that he needs to take a page out of Jete’s book, don’t try to do too much, just be yourself and that will be good enough.”
The Yankees are 8.5 games back of AL East-leading Boston and 3.5 out of a wild card spot. General manager Brian Cashman didn’t make any moves at Wednesday’s trading deadline after acquiring Soriano from the Cubs the week prior.
A-Rod could return Monday, though he’s expected to be suspended by then in baseball’s latest performance-enhancing drugs scandal.
“Once again, just because Curtis is back, it doesn’t mean you can just sit back and relax,” Jeter said. “Everybody has a job to do and everyone has to do it.”
Struggling ace CC Sabathia (9-9, 4.65 ERA) will take the hill Friday for New York against Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner (7-5, 3.88 ERA).
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