Once the Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson from the Tigers, and, after it was clear that Brett Gardner would likely be a starting outfielder for the team in 2010, there was much debate over whether or not Granderson would slide over to left field, allowing Gardner to man center. By most accounts – qualitative and quantitative – Gardner seemed to be the better defensive player, and his bat would fit well in center, making the move an understandable one if it were to occur. However, according to the NY Post‘s Joel Sherman, it will be Curtis Granderson in center field for the Yankees this year, not Brett Gardner. “[A]s camp has progressed,” writes Sherman, “Granderson has played center better and better, well enough that the Yankees have not seen a significant gap between him and Gardner defensively.” Sherman adds that the Yankees would have only moved Granderson if Gardner proved that he was “far superior” at center. He has not, and Granderson has looked good – he has not come off as “weaker” – so, the more established player will remain in his regular role.
This makes a lot of sense, as Joe Girardi has come out and said that he would not be moving Granderson back and forth, from left to center, throughout the year. In view of those comments, this announcement was to be expected, really. The move also sets the Yankees up for 2011. With Carl Crawford available for left field this winter, keeping Granderson in center might be a wise decision for the future.
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