Curtis Granderson, the centerfielder the Yankees opted to go with rather than wait for Austin Jackson to develop, is mired at .233, 36 points below his career average, with just seven homers and 24 RBI. So far, the highlight of his season came in the third game of the year, when he hit a game-winning HR off Jonathan Papelbon in the 10th inning at Fenway Park.
Since then, he has gone on the disabled list with a groin injury that cst him 23 games, and has never really gotten things going since.
He has become a target of Yankee Stadium boobirds, who begin grumbling every time he steps to the plate. This morning, Joe Girardi dowplayed Granderson's struggles as "a bit of a funk,'' but Granderson himself acknowledged that he has never gone this deep into a season without feeling fully comfortable at the plate. "It's there, I know it's in there,'' he said, referring ot his absent bat. "It's hiding inside there and I'm just waiting for it to come out.''
In a clubhouse full of guys who obsessively stare into video screens analyzing their past at-bats, Granderson is a willful exception. "I've never been a big video guy,'' he said. "I never really know what I'm looking for. Everything, both good and bad, pretty much looks the same to me.''
Girardi pointed to a brief stretch in Seattle just before the All-Star Break, when Granderson went 4-for-12, as a sign that he was about to come out of it, but since the four-day break, he has just 2 hits in 15 at-bats and has struck out 6 times. "We believe he is capable of hitting for a higher average,'' Girardi said.
Granderson is in the third year of a five-year deal he signed with the Tigers that is paying him $5.5 milion this season, $8.25 million next season and $10 million for 2012, with a club option for $13 million for 2013. Jackson, who makes $400,000 a year, is hitting .304 with one HR and 20 RBI for the Tigers. He has struck out a whopping 95 times.