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Yankees cautiously optimistic but mostly cautious with Granderson

Curtis Granderson was a late scratch from Tuesday's game with a strained right oblique, the fourth oblique injury a Yankee has suffered this spring. 

Granderson was sent to be evaluated by the team’s orthopedic surgeon in Tampa, Dr. Allen Miller, and no further tests were scheduled – generally taken as a positive sign.

But with Opening Day nine days away, there is a degree of concern until the Yankees get an exact diagnosis.

“I can’t sit here and tell you he’ll be ready in time [for Opening Day] because we just don’t know what we’re dealing with yet,” GM Brian Cashman said after the Yankees’ 6-2 loss in Sarasota to the Orioles. “It’s just too early. I know he’s not really concerned from his end, but obliques can be tricky, so we’ll just see how he is the next few days.”

Andruw Jones said he talked to Granderson just before the centerfielder left the clubhouse.

“The way he was talking it’s not that serious,” Jones said. “He said it will probably be two, three days maybe. Hopefully he can come back and be ready for the season because he’s a key part of this team.”

Girardi, like Cashman, will wait until Wednesday before expressing optimism.

“I’m concerned but at least he gave us a good sign by being able to go out there and say if it was the season he would have played,” Girardi said. “But you still have to wait.”

*** Sergio Mitre, after allowing five runs and five hits in three innings, didn’t exactly get a vote of confidence from Girardi as being a lock to make the team.

“There’s still decisions to be made there,” Girardi said.

Mitre could be locked out of a spot if the Yankees make Freddy Garcia the fifth starter and put Bartolo Colon in the bullpen, a move Colon, though he’s outpitched Garcia this spring, said he wouldn’t object to. Mitre, who brought a 2.25 ERA into Tuesday’s game, said he hasn’t envisioned a scenario where he doesn’t make it.

“It’s never crossed my mind whether I’m making the team or not,” Mitre said.

*** INF Eric Chavez said “the calf is fine,” asked several times about the right calf spasms Girardi disclosed after Monday’s game. Still, Girardi said Chavez isn’t likely to play until Friday…..RHP Rafael Soriano appeared in a minor league game against Blue Jays’ Triple-A hitters, going 1 2/3 innings and allowing one hit, a solo home run…..One of the better stories of the spring continued Tuesday Mark Prior (1.35 ERA in 6 2/3 innings) pitched a scoreless fifth, striking out Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters, and getting Vladimir Guerrero to ground to short

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