Well fans, the return of Curtis Granderson is almost upon us. In the first game of Spring Training, Granderson was hit in the arm with a pitch from J.A. Happ. Granderson was diagnosed with a fractured forearm, and has been out of action ever since. Earlier today, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees announced that Granderson would begin playing rehab games with their team today. It wont be long until Granderson is back in the Bronx, but once he comes back, which New York Yankee will be forced to go?
Since winning the reserve outfielders job out of the spring, Francisco has been a disappointment. He is currently batting .129 with one home run and one RBI. Francisco was never really more than a placeholder for the Yankees, and his struggles will make it that much easier to ax him. The fact that Francisco is also an outfielder will make the team’s decision that much easier. It is safe to say that Francisco will be the most likely option to be designated for assignment upon Grandy’s return.
Let’s just say that for some strange reason, the Yankees decide to hold on to Ben Francisco. Boesch would also be a likely option to be DFA’d. Boesch, like Francisco, has also been a disappointment. However, he has been a more impressive disappointment, if that’s even possible. Through 17 games, Boesch is batting .189 with two home runs and four RBIs. Boesch is an interesting player though because he has reportedly been taking ground balls at first base, in an attempt to give Joe Girardi a little more flexibility with his injury ravaged team. Because Mark Teixeira likely wont be back for another few weeks, having Boesch play first base just may save his spot on the team.
The only possible scenario in which Nix would be sent down, I believe, is if Eduardo Nunez came back around the same time that Granderson did. Nix has been downright awful at the plate, seemingly whiffing all the time in some of the biggest situations in a game. Of course though, Nix is very flexible, more so than Boesch, as he can play almost any position, infield or outfield. It is highly unlikely that Nix would be sent down once Granderson returns, but it isn’t something that should be ruled out as the possibility - albeit a distinct one – exists.
Granderson’s return to the Yankees will certainly be a welcome one as he provides both offense and defense to the team. It is also reported that Grandy will even play the corner outfield positions when he comes back, and not just centerfield. This allows the Yankees to keep Brett Gardner, who is the much better fielder, in the position that requires a very speedy, defensive player. What the Yankees do when Granderson comes back will be interesting as they have a few options, but when he does return, it will ultimately be for the better.