Is the changeover beginning?
Per Jack Curry:
Granderson will start taking flyballs in left field today. This is precursor to Gardner shifting to CF and Granderson moving to LF.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) February 21, 2013
My perception of Curtis Granderson's defensive shortcomings is that he has lost a half-step, plays too shallow for his current speed, and thereby gets beat on balls over his head. Lateral movement seems like less of an issue. At the same time, I thought Brett Gardner merely adequate in center, whereas in left he was overqualified, so he was able to have an outsized impact. I wonder, then, if flip-flopping their positions will not lead to any huge net change. Gardner will be okay in center, good, not great, and Granderson will have plus range for a left fielder. I guess that adds up to a gain for the Yankees, but not a big gain.
UPDATE: Just kidding!
Outfielders just rotated. Gardner in right, Granderson in center, Ichiro in left. At this point, they're just messing with us, right?— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) February 21, 2013
Ok. Now Ichiro in center; BOTH Granderson and Gardner in right. #outsidethebox— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) February 21, 2013
Cashman said Granderson and Gardner will both play CF and LF this spring and Yankees will determine best option for season.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) February 21, 2013
I can get behind a competition, but usually when the Yankees say competition they know who they want to win. Just ask Phil Hughes. Gardner is so much better in the outfield that it seems silly to question whether or not it's worth a switch. It's such an easy thing that even though it might give minimal improvement it's something that should happen. There's no reason to keep Granderson in centerfield if he's not the best centerfielder on the team. We'll see what happens from here. I just hope the right decision is made, rather than simply siding with the veteran like Girardi loves to do. Granderson doesn't even mind switching!