AL BEast Notebook – May 25
** Second verse, same as the first. A week after Curtis Granderson made his season debut after getting struck in the arm by an inside pitch from a left-hander, it happened again.
Granderson was hit on the hand by a pitch thrown by Rays lefty reliever Cesar Ramos in the fifth inning of Friday night’s 9-4 win over Tampa Bay. The Yankees outfielder grimaced in pain and shook his head and hand on base but he stayed in the game as he later came around to score in a big inning for the Yankees before getting replaced by Ichiro the next half inning. He was immediately taken in for x-rays that showed he suffered a broken knuckle on his left pinkie. After missing the first 38 games of the season, the injury is expected to sideline him at least another four weeks.
At least the Yankees will not have to make drastic changes to the lineup. Brett Gardner, Ichiro and Vernon Wells are all still here and have been accustomed to manning the Yankees outfield for most of the year. Girardi had said the last few days that he was going to have to decide on a regular trio instead of circulating all four outfielders, so at least this event makes that decision easier. (Ichiro would have been the odd man out, so he has another shot staying in the lineup everyday.)
** Unfortunately, Granderson wasn’t the only Yankee to leave with an injury Friday night. Starting pitcher David Phelps was struck on the right forearm by a line drive off the bat of Ben Zobrist in the eighth inning. He has been diagnosed with a contusion (bruise). He’s the second starter this rotation to leave with a contusion, Hiroki Kuroda getting hurt Wednesday. While both pitchers will be sore for a few days, they are likely to make their next scheduled starts.
** Robinson Cano also received a “hit-by-pitch” during the game, although actually the ball struck the end of the bat, not Cano’s hand.
** The Boston Red Sox were also hit with the injury bug Friday. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a bad back, and right fielder Shane Victorino went on the DL with a tight hamstring.