The Yankees have activated outfielder Curtis Granderson from the disabled list and will bat him fifth in tonight’s starting lineup against the Padres. Granderson missed the first 38 games of the season with a fractured right forearm. In his eighth game of the season on May 24 against the Rays, Granderson was hit on the left hand with a Cesar Ramos fastball, fracturing the fifth metacarpal. He missed 60 more games.
Granderson’s return is a boon for the Yankees, who enter tonight’s game against the Padres with the fourth-worst aggregate outfield OPS in the American League at .696. By isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average), their outfielders have hit for the least amount of power at .122. The league average is .151 and the Rangers lead at .184.
Granderson, 32 years old, is a free agent after the season. The Yankees picked up his $15 million option for the 2013 season, the final leg of a five-year, $30.25 million extension signed with the Tigers in February 2008.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: