Granderson 'excited to get back to center'

TAMPA, Fla. -- Curtis Granderson's tenure as the Yankees' left fielder lasted all of one half-inning, a fact that manager Joe Girardi made clear to the slugger after he fractured his right forearm.

Granderson said that he stopped by Girardi's office to ask for permission to fly home on Monday's off-day. Girardi granted the request and also had a tidbit of news to offer for Granderson, who is expected to return to the lineup in May.

"He goes, 'Just so you know, when you come back, you'll be back in center,'" Granderson said. "I was like, 'Oh, OK.' That was the quickness of the conversation. That was it, and then I heard about it from everybody else and people were asking what I thought about it. We talked about it for literally five seconds and that was it."

Girardi said that because of the Feb. 24 injury, he does not believe Granderson will have enough time to adapt to playing left field. Girardi suggested he would have liked to have given Granderson 20 to 25 games in Spring Training to adjust.

"I would have played him predominantly in left for a while," Girardi said. "I know he can play center."

Granderson agreed that if he were to make a shift to left field, he would have had to play the position extensively during the spring.

"I couldn't just go in cold," Granderson said. "I want to go back to center, so I'm excited that's the news. I'd just rather go there, but if they said they needed to do something, we would entertain it and go from there. But I'm excited to get back to center."

Granderson also said that he is not worried about how the Yankees' April lineup will look if it lacks both his bat and that of Mark Teixeira, who suffered a strained right wrist on Tuesday.

"I think we can win without the power," Granderson said. "The power has always been something that you have and it's a great luxury to have it, but you've got to go ahead and manufacture and score runs when you can. We've got some speed with Ichiro [Suzuki] and [Brett] Gardner there.

"We still have pieces that can move in to allow us to win ballgames without having to hit as many home runs, and those guys can hit home runs. It's not like we're completely shut out in that category."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.