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Sunday, September 2, 2012
Curtis Granderson held out of lineup

By Matt Ehalt and Mike Mazzeo
ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson was held out Sunday's 8-3 loss to Baltimore as he dealt with mild tendinitis in his right hamstring, another blow to an already depleted lineup.

Following the game, Granderson said "everything felt good," but is not sure whether he will be back in the lineup Monday against Tampa.

"Big thing was to see how I was going to come back after going to sleep yesterday. But everything felt good," Granderson said. "We went through another round of treatment and stuff today. Treated it as an off day for the most part, didn't do anything besides walk around today. As of right now, again we'll see how everything comes back tomorrow and treat tomorrow like a normal practice day and see how everything goes from there."

Granderson said he will test his hamstring before Monday's 1:10 p.m. start through activities such as taking batting practice and shagging balls, but the focus will be on seeing how his hamstring feels. The outfielder said his spot in the lineup will be manager Joe Girardi's call, but he seemed optimistic that he might be able to get back in there.

"As of right now, things are looking very good," Granderson said.

Granderson was pulled in the second inning of Saturday's win over the Orioles, and Girardi had said he wanted to see how his center fielder felt on Sunday before making any decisions. Granderson ultimately had the day off and his replacement, Chris Dickerson, had a fantastic game as he went 1-for-1 with a two-run homer, a walk, and two runs scored.

"We're gonna have to give him a day or two," Girardi said of Granderson before Sunday's game. "I'm not so sure if he'll play tomorrow, we'll have to check. The good thing is he didn't pull anything, but we're gonna have to give him a day or two."

Granderson was yanked after striking out in his first at-bat Saturday. He said after the game he felt something while running out to center in the first inning and before his at-bat. While Granderson said he could've stayed in the game, the Yankees erred on the side of caution and pulled him.

An MRI did not reveal a strain or a tear for the All-Star.

Girardi said he doesn't think the injury will be a concern going forward.

"With rest and medication, you can rid yourself of tendinitis," the manager said.

The Yankees could have used Granderson's bat as they concluded a pivotal series with the Orioles. They managed six hits and three runs against Baltimore as they lost two of three to the second-place team.

While Granderson sat Sunday, several other key Yankees were working toward their returns as the team heads into the stretch run and tries to fend off the Tampa Bay Rays and Orioles in the AL East.

Girardi said he believes there's a "good chance" third baseman Alex Rodriguez (hand) will rejoin the team Monday against Tampa Bay in Florida, while pitcher Andy Pettitte (leg) is prepping to start tossing live batting practice.

"I think (Rodriguez) will be in the lineup," Girardi said following his team's loss at Yankee Stadium. "We can use his bat, that's for sure. We need him to come back and be productive for us."

With middle-of-the-lineup hitters Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira sidelined, and Granderson now unavailable, the team takes a hit in the power department. While Granderson is only hitting .235, his 34 homers pace the team and he has 79 RBIs.

Rodriguez, who has been on the disabled list since he fractured his left hand on July 24 against the Seattle Mariners, went through a rigorous workout on Sunday at the team's minor-league complex in Tampa, according to a team spokesman. During the workout, Rodriguez took batting practice, fielded ground balls and ran the bases.

In two rehab games for Class A Tampa, Rodriguez went 0 for 7 with a walk, a run scored and four strikeouts. He served as the designated hitter on Friday night and played third base on Saturday night.

A-Rod suffered the injury when he was struck by a pitch from Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez. He has been on the DL ever since.

Rodriguez is hitting .276 with 15 home runs and 44 RBIs for the Yankees this season.

The Yankees have gone 18-18 since A-Rod went on the DL, and have struggled recently without him and Teixeira (calf) in the lineup. In the past week, they've used the likes of Steve Pearce and Andruw Jones in the cleanup spot.

Pettitte threw a 35-pitch bullpen session off the mound on Sunday, and says he feels like he's "over the hump."

Pettitte, on the disabled list since June 27 with a fractured left ankle, said the next step likely will be throwing live batting practice "as quick as possible." There is still no timetable as to when he'll rejoin the Yankees.

Right-hander Ivan Nova (shoulder) also threw a bullpen.

"I guess he felt fine, too," Girardi said. "We'll have to see what the next step for him is as well."

Girardi is unsure as to when Teixeira will return.

"I don't have a guess. The concern there with a calf like that, usually you put a guy like that on the DL, but our thought was we could get him back two or three days earlier," Girardi said. "But if he does have a setback, you're probably looking at the rest of the year."

Teixeira is currently receiving regular treatment, Girardi said.

Matt Ehalt and Mike Mazzeo are frequent contributors for ESPNNewYork.com.