COMMENTARY | The replacement-level New York Yankees got a boost on Tuesday with the return of Curtis Granderson. In his season debut, Granderson went 0-for-3 with a walk for the first-place Yankees. Granderson, who missed the team's first 38 regular season games after fracturing his forearm during his first spring training at-bat, started in left field for only the fourth time in his career, batted cleanup, and played a critical role in the Yankees' comeback against the Seattle Mariners.
The team is now 11 games above .500 and has a 2-game lead in American League East over the Baltimore Orioles. Yankees fans, however, are still awaiting the return of regulars Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez, as well as the debut of heralded pitcher Michael Pineda. An update on the baseball's most expensive disabled list:
Mark Teixeira: While Granderson was taking batting practice on Tuesday, Teixeira was soft-tossing baseballs to Prince Harry of Wales at Harlem RBI's baseball field. Still working his way back from a preseason wrist injury (torn tendon sheath in his right wrist), Teixeira remains on track to return in early June.
Derek Jeter: During an April 25 press conference, Jeter told reporters that he planned to return "soon" without providing a timetable. Shortly thereafter, the New York Daily News spotted Jeter leaving his Manhattan apartment while wearing a protective boot on his left ankle, which he injured during last season's American League Championship Series. After speaking with doctors about Jeter's injury, Newsday's David Lennon reports that Jeter will likely return by late July, at the earliest. On a related note, Jeter's back-up, Eduardo Nunez, became the 12th Yankee to land on the disabled list last week. The move was retroactive to May 6, meaning Nunez is eligible to return May 21.
Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod has been working out at the Yankees' Tampa complex since last week, where he's joined fellow injured Yankees Francisco Cervelli, Ivan Nova, and Pineda. Rodriguez has been taking batting practice, running, and fielding ground balls. Rodriguez is expected to return during the second half of the season. Once Rodriguez begins appearing in minor league games - perhaps for the Yankees' Tampa club - the team may have a better idea as to when they can expect to activate him from the disabled list.
Michael Pineda: There's been nothing but good news for Pineda, who's expected to make his debut in late June or early July, as he continues his rehabilitation at the Yankees' minor league complex. Except, of course, for an incident last week in which a homerun ball smashed the window of his SUV. Pineda's fastball has been averaging about 93 mph and topping out at 95 mph, an encouraging sign, as Yankee brass were concerned last year that Pineda had lost velocity on his heater. According to Brian Cashman, the team's goal is to activate Pineda once the right-hander throws 65-70 pitches in back-to-back appearances.
Howard Z. Unger is a freelance journalist in Brooklyn, New York. For the past 15 years, he has written about sports, media, and popular culture. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, New York Post, and New York Times.
- Sports & Recreation
- New York Yankees
- Alex Rodriguez
- Curtis Granderson
- Mark Teixeira
- Michael Pineda
- Derek Jeter