So far this season, the New York Yankees have been bit by the injury bug countless times, and outfielder Curtis Granderson was one of the very first players to go down. However, Granderson is currently beginning to close in on his return to the Bombers’ everyday lineup.
There has been a lot of talk about if the Yankees should even be excited about Granderson’s return to the team, which honestly shouldn’t even be something that people have to think about. Granderson’s return is absolutely crucial to the team’s hopes of succeeding this season.
A lot of people have claimed that the early success of Granderson’s replacement in the Yankees outfield, Vernon Wells, means that the Yankees would be better off without Granderson, which is absolutely ridiculous.
For starters, Wells is finally coming back down Earth following his hot start for the Yankees. After hitting like a guy that deserves a $126 million contract, Wells’ batting average is now sitting at .270, which is much more in line with his .273 career average. In addition, he hasn’t hit a home run in his last 10 games after hitting six in his first 19.
Then you have to consider that over the past two seasons, no player in baseball has hit more home runs than Granderson’s 84, and that he adds a power threat to the lineup that currently is nonexistent outside of Robinson Cano.
The fact is that Wells is a fourth outfielder at this point in his career — a very good one, but a fourth outfielder nonetheless. Granderson, on the other hand, is one of the the premier power hitters in MLB and would be a welcome addition to almost any team’s lineup.
Furthermore, Granderson actually offers more help than just simple production. For example, when he returns some time in the next week or two, the outfielder will give the Yankees the opportunity to send 27 year-old Brennan Boesch to Triple-A. That will allow Boesch to work on his approach at the plate and maybe be able to find success similar to what he had when he finished fifth in the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year voting.
If the Yankees want to have their best chance to add a 28th championship to their history, then they will need Curtis Granderson back and playing the big role that he deserves.
Chris Ronca is a New York Yankees writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter; @ChrisRonca.