Good news for the Bombers.
Curtis Granderson confirmed on his Twitter account this afternoon that he was able to throw today for the first time since he suffered a broken right forearm when he was hit by a pitch on February 24.
According to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger, the next step calls for Granderson to begin swinging a bat. He’ll likely test himself in an extended spring training before going out on an official minor league rehab assignment, but the hope is that he’ll be ready to be activated around the middle of next month.
While the Yankees were considering moving Granderson to left field during spring training, he is expected to return as the full-time center fielder. Brett Gardner will simply slide over to left.
Granderson, 32, batted .232/.319/.492 with 43 home runs, 106 RBI and an .811 OPS last season. He’s due to become a free agent following the 2013 season.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: