Joel Sherman chimes in with a good column on Curtis Granderson’s struggles:
Curtis Granderson hasn’t been very good this year. But he just might be the luckiest player in the majors.
If he were playing for the old owner in his prime or in the old stadium or for a team that did not have the majors’ best record, Granderson would know what hell in baseball feels like. Instead, the highest-profile Yankee acquisition of the offseason has essentially skirted criticism and boos despite having the kind of season that once made Steve Kemp’s stint as a Yankee short and bitter…..
“I haven’t been able to be the guy, but at the same time, on this team, we don’t necessarily need that type of guy,” Granderson said.
Maybe. But Granderson was brought here to be more than an observer to the excellence of others, certainly more than a ninth-place-hitting detriment. He has sidestepped the boos and criticism. But the biggest games are still to come. Granderson will either rise up and prove an asset or learn that even with the old Stadium and the old Boss gone that this is not the place you want to debut as an abject failure.
While Curtis has been very good in the field thus far and missing a month hurt him in the counting stat department, it is difficult to deny that he has been a major disappointment. He has been as bad as ever against lefties, is not showing as much power as he did in the past, and has yet to put together any sort of substantial hot streak at the plate. His numbers have now trended downward for three straight seasons, and I have a hard time finding evidence that suggests a turnaround is imminent.
Additionally, while Granderson’s bat actually grades out about league average for center field, that is less relevant for a team that has another center fielder on the roster who is actually a better defender. Essentially, Granderson’s value to the Yankees this season has been the defensive value Gardner provides relative to your average leftfielder. While the leftfielder he replaced, Johnny Damon, is not having a great season and his loss should not be a source of angst, Austin Jackson has put together a solid season in Detroit at a lower cost. While I liked it at the time and Curtis still has 2 seasons and 2 months to turn things around, the Granderson trade looks like a bit of a disaster.