Monday, March 1, 2010

NY Post: New Yankee Curtis Granderson improving vs. lefties

TAMPA -- The Granderson Project is in full swing.

Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson took live batting practice off a left-hander on Field 2 yesterday and early in the second round lined a pitch up the middle. That's progress.

Granted the left-handed pitcher was Kei Igawa, but Granderson is in the process of attacking left-handers in a much different way than he has in the past.

His development is one of the huge keys of this spring training. In Johnny Damon, the Yankees had a sure thing at the plate. Granderson is still developing as a hitter. He batted .183 against lefties last season and is a .210 hitter over his career, so something has to change. Only two of his 30 home runs last year came against lefthanders.

In his career, Granderson has an overall wOBA of .352 vs. RHP and .266 against LHP. His CAIRO projected splits are .361 vs. RHP and .299 vs. LHP. Over 200 PAs vs. LHP the difference between those splits is about six runs. His projected LHP split would still be below average, but it'd allow the Yankees a little bit more leeway in how Granderson is utilized, say in late innings against LHP.

I wouldn't expect him to ever become good against lefties, but I am optimistic he will be better.

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