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.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.