With the news that Curtis Granderson could be back in the New York Yankees line-up as early as Tuesday, the Yankees have a tough decision to make. How are they going to handle their outfield situation? It seems like they now have too many outfielders, when it seemed like they were short a few just a couple of months ago.
Granderson is undoubtedly going to play every day, that much we know. He’s a 40-home run guy that has a swing built for Yankee Stadium. Until recently, Ichiro Suzuki had been struggling at the plate, but he’s turned it up and deserves to get at-bats.
Brett Gardner doesn’t handle left-handers particularly well, but is a threat anywhere he hits in the line-up because he provides a ton of speed on the bases. Vernon Wells has had a career resurgence and is hitting .299 with 9 home runs and 22 RBIs.
It would help if they could mix and match depending on the pitcher for the day, but Ichiro and Gardner are obviously both left-handed hitters, so that doesn’t help Joe Girardi. Another possibility is using one of them as the designated hitter, but Travis Hafner is leading the Yankees in on-base percentage and has driven in his fair share of runs.
Also, he can’t play anywhere defensively, so he’s more or less locked into the DH role. If only Wells could play third base everyday!
It’s an odd situation for the Yankees to have an abundance of players during this injury-plagued season, but as players begin to come off the disabled list, they’ll continue to face these tough choices.
B.L. is a sports writer for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @coachlip