Clay Buchholz went down with a strained hamstring in the first drill of the Spring. Fortunately, they avoided future calamity as the injury wasn't as bad as originally reported. The same good fortune can't be said for the Yankees, as it is being reported that Curtis Granderson has a broken forearm from a 1st inning hit by pitch Sunday afternoon. Granderson will miss 10 weeks, with his timetable setting him to come back five weeks into the regular season.
Considering the lack of depth that the Yankees have due to a quiet off season, this injury could be detrimental to the start of their season. The Bombers hit 245 home runs last year (41 more than the 2nd most in baseball), but to start the year they will now be without Alex Rodriguez (18 HR last year), Nick Swisher (24 HR last year), and now Granderson (43 HR last year). That's 35% of their 2012 home run production missing for at least the first 5 weeks of the season.
Now what does this mean for the Red Sox? As we all know by now, the Yankees may not be Boston's biggest threat in the East; Toronto's new additions could make them the favorites to win the division, and we can count on Tampa Bay to be there in the end. However, in a crowded AL East, the Sox need all the help they can get. Buster Olney recently reviewed the strength of schedule for all American League teams during the first half of the 2013 season. The Red Sox were ranked the 12th easiest schedule (out of 15), but unfortunately the Yankees were ranked an even easier 13th.
Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera (both 35 years old) are potential replacements for Granderson, but Olney brought up an interesting point about a former-Yankee:
Alfonso Soriano loved playing for the Yankees, and told me last summer that was a team to which he would accept a deal. Could make sense.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 24, 2013
Whether the Yankees find a suitable replacement for Granderson, or simply ride out their easy 1st half schedule without him, we can all agree that an injury to a Yankee is always a good thing. Due to slow starts the last two seasons, the Red Sox need to come out of the gate with no missteps. They now have even more incentive to do so — how nice would a five game lead over the Yankees look come May?
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Joel Trunfio 2/24/2013 04:07:00 PM Tweet