Curtis Granderson plays rightfield for first time
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This Yankees at the Improv season continues. The latest adjustment was manager Joe Girardi's decision to put Curtis Granderson, the centerfielder who has been playing leftfield since returning from a broken forearm, in rightfield Saturday.
It was the first time Granderson has played rightfield in his 10-year career.
Girardi wanted to keep Brett Gardner in center and Vernon Wells in left, "and Grandy can play anywhere for us," he said. "When I talked to him about it, he was like, 'Fine. No problem.' Curtis is just here to play and wants to win, the type of guy who'll do anything you ask him to do. So it was an easy conversation. Sometimes you don't know how those conversations are going to go, but it was very easy."
Girardi said the "flexibility" of all his outfielders is important because "with this stretch of 17 games in 16 days, and then another stretch like it [17 in 17 days] coming, they're all going to need a day here and there. And the other thing about Grandy is you want to build him up to where he's playing seven, eight games in a row. He hasn't done that yet. You have to be fair to him and don't want to end up hurting something."
Granderson handled two fly balls, including the game's last out, in Saturday's 7-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ichiro gets day off
Meanwhile, Girardi gave outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who had gone 0-for-22 before getting one hit in three at-bats on Friday night, the day off. Suzuki, a career .321 hitter who hit over .300 in the first 10 of his 12 major-league seasons, had gone a career high-equaling five straight games without a hit and was one at-bat short of his longest hitless streak. His average is down to .241.
The injured list
Chris Stewart (groin) was held out Saturday but is expected to be available Sunday. Travis Hafner (shoulder) returned after missing five games and homered. Vidal Nuño, who had been scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Saturday, instead returned to the Yankees to replace Andy Pettitte (back). Joba Chamberlain (oblique) is expected to have a bullpen session "pretty shortly," Girardi said. Eduardo Nuñez (rib cage) and Kevin Youkilis (back) are said to be progressing.