Yankees to start Granderson at CF

TAMPA, Fla. -- Curtis Granderson will be the starting center fielder for the New York Yankees.

Manager Joe Girardi made the announcement before Thursday's game with Toronto.

The Yankees explored the possibility of shifting Granderson, a 2009 AL All-Star, to left so the speedy Brett Gardner could play center. Gardner will play in left instead.

Girardi says there was "no wrong decision."

"They both did a very nice job at both spots," Girardi said. "Grandy has played a lot of center field in his career, and so has Gardy, but we just decided that we were going to go with Grandy in center. Try not to move him around and put him in one spot."

Granderson was obtained from Detroit in a three-team, seven-player trade last December.

Also, backup catcher Francisco Cervelli has a left hamstring strain and is not expected to play again during spring training. Girardi is hopeful Cervelli can avoid going on the disabled list.

"I think it's nothing serious," said Cervelli, who had an MRI exam Wednesday. "A little pinch. A little tight. Nothing like pain. We'll see what happens."

Right-hander Alfredo Aceves, slowed by back tightness, was feeling OK one day after a 20-pitch bullpen session and could pitch on Friday.

The Yankees open the regular season Sunday night at Boston.