Yankees manager Joe Girardi opened the door Sunday for a potential move of Curtis Granderson to a corner outfield spot, saying the team will have to decide in time if Granderson will still man center field when he returns from the disabled list.
Granderson is expected to return in mid-May.
"We might toy around with some other things," Girardi said before the Yankees faced the Athletics.
In mid-April, Granderson said Girardi had told him he was going to be in center field when he returned, and all his work in Tampa had been in center. The team is now considering other options, as Girardi said Granderson has been getting reps in every outfield spot.
By potentially moving Granderson, the Yankees would keep Brett Gardner in center field. Girardi said there's no concern about how Granderson and Gardner would play next to each other. The two have played together before, but never with Gardner in center and Granderson in the corner.
"My concern is how [Granderson] reacts to the ball in different spots, " Girardi said.
In spring training, the Yankees had been preparing to shift Granderson from center, but his broken right forearm put a halt to those plans. He's nearing a return now: Granderson played in an extended spring training game Wednesday and had four at-bats Saturday, according to The Associated Press. The outfielder was hit by a pitch on his triceps Saturday, but told The Associated Press he's fine.
"He's doing OK. He's not having any setbacks," Girardi said. "I think he had [four] at-bats yesterday so he's going in the right direction."
As the Yankees prep for Granderson's return, they're eventually going to have to make the unenviable decision of sitting one of their current starting outfielders. Vernon Wells has already hit six home runs and bats third in the lineup, while Ichiro Suzuki is heating up after a slow start and is one of the few players on the team who provides speed and can manufacture runs.
"People have asked me a lot about, 'When Grandy comes back, what are you going to do with your outfielders? You have three guys that are playing pretty well,'" Girardi said. "Grandy is going to play, he's a big part of our offense.
"But as we've seen around here, a lot can happen in a couple weeks."
ROBERTSON HOPING TUESDAY: David Robertson (hamstring) will play catch Sunday and throw Tuesday in hopes of being available that night. He said the plan is to throw on flat ground, then go off the mound and see how he feels Tuesday. Robertson last pitched May 1.
"If it feels good, I think I'll be available Tuesday," Robertson said.
The reliever said he feels much better, but there is still some tightness he attributes to his body healing.
HEADED TO TAMPA: Girardi said he's not sure if Ivan Nova (triceps) and Kevin Youkilis (back) will be joining the injured contingent in Tampa. He said catcher Francisco Cervelli (hand) is already there, while first baseman Mark Teixeira (wrist) will be heading down.