Granderson improving against southpaws

Granderson improving against southpaws

NEW YORK -- There wasn't much Curtis Granderson could do this spring to erase the belief that he has trouble hitting left-handed pitching. His 2009 batting average against southpaws, a paltry .183 mark, hovered over him as a large question mark coming into his first year with the Yankees.

The only thing Granderson could do was put in extra time with hitting coach Kevin Long to correct his flaws, and most importantly, get a few hits. Granderson came through with a big double off lefty Tony Sipp in Sunday's 7-3 victory over the Indians, and the Yankees have seen improvement.

"It's just part of the game," Granderson said. "You go out and continue to work, and continue to look to improve. No matter what, there's always something you can do. In everyone's career, even the best players in this game, there's always something they couldn't do."

Granderson also had a double off Sipp on Friday and owns eight hits in 34 at-bats against lefties this year, a .235 average. While Granderson isn't lighting up the leader boards, he is also showing that he isn't an automatic out.

"His at-bats have been pretty good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I don't always look at just numbers; I look at at-bats. He's hit the ball deep to center a number of times off of lefties, he's had a couple of hits off of Sipp in this series.

"He looks comfortable. He's getting a good pitch and putting a good swing on it, and hitting it hard. We've been happy with his at-bats against lefties."

Granderson entered play on Monday as a lifetime .210 hitter against lefties, and said that he recognizes that he still has a long way to go to completely erase all of his issues. It's a challenge that he welcomes.

"It gives them something to write about," Granderson said. "It's been my mark since they started writing about me in Baseball America after I got drafted. I was too slow to play center field, I didn't have enough power to play the corners, I was going to be a fourth outfielder -- all these different things that people kept saying I can't do.

"I haven't done anything to eliminate all the conversation. I definitely by no means feel like I've been feeling great up there at the plate. I'll continue to work. That's the only thing that we're trying to do."