The 2012 Major League Baseball season officially got underway early Wednesday morning when the Seattle Mariners edged the Oakland Athletics in 11 innings in Tokyo.
But while the Mariners were closing out their win this morning, the New York Yankees found out they may be without starting center fielder Curtis Granderson when they open their 2012 campaign at Tampa Bay on April 6.
Granderson was scratched from Tuesday night’s spring training game against the Blue Jays due to right elbow soreness and was set to undergo an MRI.
“We’ll do a precautionary MRI tomorrow to make sure it’s nothing significant,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Tuesdsay. “We don’t believe it is.”
The Yankees are certainly hoping it isn’t, as Granderson is expected to be one of their brightest stars again this summer.
The 31-year-old is coming off a career year in which he clubbed 41 home runs, drove in 119 runs and stole 25 bases. Granderson began the year hitting eighth but was hitting in the No. 2 spot by season’s end.
The team is already without pitcher Joba Chamberlain who suffered an open dislocation on his ankle last week while playing on a trampoline with his son. Chamberlain — who is out indefinitely following surgery — told reporters on Tuesday that he expects to play again this season.
“Obviously there’s a lot of things that are going to have to happen before that, but what we’ve been told there’s a great chance it’s going to happen,” Chamberlain said.
Meantime the Yankees are boosting 39-year-old left-handed pitcher Andy Pettitte’s workload as he returns to the diamond after a one-year retirement. Manager Joe Girardi said he thinks Pettitte — who pitched in a simulated game on Tuesday — could pitch a spring training game next week.