Curtis Granderson gets hit on hand, suffers broken finger

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Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson was hit in the hand by Rays reliever Cesar Ramos in the fifth inning of tonight’s game against the Rays. He stayed in the game to run the bases, scoring on a bases loaded walk by Jayson Nix, but exited before the top of the sixth. Ichiro Suzuki took his place in right field.

Granderson missed his team’s first 38 games of the season recovering from a fractured right forearm suffered early in spring training. Losing Granderson, who hit 43 home runs last year, even for 15 days would be a crushing blow to the Yankees, already besieged by injuries to key players.

Update: It’s a broken left pinky knuckle, per Buster Olney.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.