If Curtis Granderson steps to the plate tonight covered in bubble wrap could you really blame him? The Grandyman will attempt to make his season re-debut with the Yankees tonight in the first of three games with the San Diego Padres.
Since there's no DH in the National League park it means that either Alfonso Soriano or Ichiro Suzuki will sit. The Padres are throwing right-hander Andrew Cashner, but that doesn't mean it's an automatic for Ichiro to be in the lineup. Which also means that either Soriano or Granderson could be playing an outfield position (RF) they are not used to - likely Granderson.
Either way number 14 is ecstatic to be back with this bretheren after a broken forearm and broken finger put him on the DL for lengthy stays. Granderson's absence contribued to the Yankees lack of production and could also hurt his contract demands when he becomes a free agent after the season.
I recall earlier this year when some Yankees fans didn't want Granderson to return from the DL. "He's one dimensional" was the mantra after Granderson hit for power in 2012, but not much else. I'm amazed that anyone can predict that Granderson won't return to his 2011 form when he carried the ball club for much of the season. (Granderson's .828 OPS with runners in scoring position last year has also gotten lost in the shuffle of his career worst 195 strikeouts.)
Granderson's return will also mean that Joe Girardi can mix and match his left-handed and right-handed batters in the lineup and provide more protection for Robinson Cano. Granderson has played just eight Major League games this year - still more than Derek Jeter - and was 7-28 (.250) with a home run that provided his lone RBI. He played his first game of the season on May 14 after his forearm was broken by a J.A. Happ pitch in the first Spring Training game. Tonight he'll have his name in the lineup for the first time since May 24 when a Cesar Ramos pitch did in his finger.