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Curtis Granderson might return to Yankees as soon as Tuesday

Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson warms up for

Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson warms up for his first day of practice. (Feb. 18, 2013) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

CLEVELAND -- Curtis Granderson rehab keeps steadily progressing, so much to the point that Joe Girardi didn't rule out the outfielder rejoining the Yankees as soon as Tuesday.

"If he feels he's ready to go, he's ready to go," Girardi said Monday. "Whenever it takes place, we're open arms."

Granderson, out since suffering a broken right forearm Feb. 24, has been rehabbing with Triple-A Scranton. He was lifted for a pinch runner in the seventh inning last night against the Gwinnett Braves.

Signs point in the direction of activation as outfielder Brennan Boesch, after starting in right the first game of Monday's doubleheader, was optioned to Scranton.

"With Curtis coming back [soon], we thought it would be best for Boesch to get some at-bats," Girardi said.

Boesch, acquired in the spring after being released by the Tigers, played sporadically, hitting .209 with a .244 OBP with two homers and five RBIs in 20 games.

"The role I was given isn't a role that anyone would want," Boesch said. "My goal is to be an everyday player again and the first step in doing that is going down and getting some at-bats and working hard down there. That's the first step getting back to where I need to be."


Joseph's hectic day

Infielder Corban Joseph had a busy 24 hours, summoned from Scranton late Sunday, then he started both games of the doubleheader. In his big-league debut in the first game, he started at first, a position he had never played before this season. In the second game, he played his more familiar position of second base.

Joseph had a shaky moment or two at first but made a couple of good plays, including the start of a 3-6-1 double play.

"First start being at first base," he said. "I just never thought that would happen but there's opportunity and when you get called to do a job, you have to make the best of it."


Mo hardware

As part of what has become a farewell tour for Mariano Rivera, the closer received a gold record of "Enter Sandman" from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which is in Cleveland. "Without singing, I got a gold record," Rivera smiled. "Whoever thought of that, that's great. I appreciate that. It will have a special place in my house."

Extra bases

Kevin Youkilis (lumbar spine sprain) resumed on-field work in Tampa, playing catch and fielding grounders . . . Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery) hit indoors and jogged . . . Girardi clarified Ivan Nova's setback, saying the pitcher, on the DL with inflammation in his right triceps, experienced soreness in his upper left back, rather than his side. Nova isn't expected to throw for at least a couple of days.

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