March 16th, 2013
After an MVP-level season in 2011, in which he led the AL in runs scored and RBIs, the Grandy Man slumped a bit in 2012. He averaged a career low .232 and struck out a franchise record 195 times. But the native of Blue Island, IL did reach the 100 run, 40 HR, 100 RBI plateaus for the second straight season in 2012 and he is the only hitter in either league who can claim that achievement. That’s why I’m a bit perplexed by the significant level of negative press this guy gets. Yes he disappeared in the 2012 postseason but the same can be said of just about every hitter in the Yankee lineup. Since 2013 is the final year of his contract and he is becoming eligible for free agency during the same season as Robinson Cano, Granderson will most likely need to have a career year to continue on as a Yankee. That’s why the broken wrist he suffered in an early exhibition season at bat was not good news for this outfielder, who turns 32-years-old today. The injury will sideline him until May.
It was toward the end of the 2010 regular season that Granderson, who had been hitting horribly against left-handed pitching, spent some time working with Yankee hitting coach, Kevin Long to improve his swing against southpaws. Those practice sessions resulted in one of the most amazing hitting adjustments I’ve ever seen a big league hitter make and in 2011, Granderson, who has a lifetime average of just .229 against lefties, raised that mark to .279. Curtis has also provided the Yankees with strong defense in the middle of the outfield and his enthusiasm for the game is an important ingredient for this New York team both on the field and in the clubhouse.
The Yanks got Granderson in December, 2009 three-team trade in which they gave up Austin Jackson and Phil Coke to the Tigers and starting pitcher Ian Kennedy to the Diamondbacks. All three of those ex-Yankees have performed well for their new teams as has Granderson. I’d love to see him remain in pinstripes beyond 2013.
Granderson shares his May 16th birthday with this former Yankee starting pitcher.