New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson will miss the first month of Major League Baseball’s regular season after fracturing a bone in his right forearm during his first spring training at-bat.
Granderson, who hit a team-leading 43 home runs last season, was injured when he was hit by a pitch from J.A. Happ of the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday in Tampa, Florida.
“It’s definitely tough,” Granderson said in a televised interview. “Mind and body were feeling great, looking forward to getting spring training going. Five pitches in, we have to go and alter everything a little bit, but it’s just a little bump in the road. It’s definitely not the end of everything.”
The Yankees said Granderson would be out for 10 weeks, meaning he’d probably be able to return during the first week of May. The Yankees open their regular-season schedule on April 1 against the Boston Red Sox.
Granderson, 31, batted .232 with 106 runs batted in and 102 runs scored for the Yankees last season.
During his absence, Matt Diaz, Juan Rivera and Zoile Almonte will probably compete for more playing time alongside starting outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner. Outfielders Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones were among those to leave the Yankees during the offseason.
“You keep your body ready to go, and mentally stay focused,” Granderson said. “I’m always looking forward to the season, so that’s not going to change. It just might be a little different start date, that’s all.”