Sunday brought a taste of spring to another cold day in New York.
The Yankees were on TV from Tampa, bringing the joy of baseball and promise of warmer days into our homes. The reverie lasted about as long as it takes for a major league pitch to reach the plate.
Curtis Granderson got hit on the right forearm by Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ in his first at-bat of the exhibition season. He immediately left the game to have x-rays and the bad news came a couple of hours later.
It's a fractured forearm and 10 weeks on the shelf for the Yankee outfielder, a major blow to a team that's not prepared to replace Granderson in the lineup. They already erased 94 homers from last year's lineup and adding the 43 from Granderson makes the Bronx Bombers moniker look like a serious misnomer.
Outside of Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira, it's going to be a lot of scratching and clawing for the Yankee lineup in April. Any hopes of allowing Derek Jeter to ease his way back into things pretty much go up in smoke as the Yankees will now really need his bat to score runs early in the season.
When the Yankees chose to go with Ichiro Suzuki and Kevin Youkilis this offseason, they were consciously opting against an overreliance on power to generate runs. That plan will be tested right off the bat in a more extreme way than the team would have liked.
Defense is less of a problem. Brett Gardner was probably going to wind up in center at some point this year anyway and he's a better overall defensive player than Granderson.
Who's in left is going to be an Abbott and Costello routine, though. The in-house options are veteran non-roster invitees Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera, neither of whom were particularly paletteable options in their salad days.
There are old friends Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon kicking around on the market and lingering notions of making Eduardo Nunez an outfielder, but any serious shot at replacing Granderson's thump would take a trade. Doing that for a month without Granderson would seem like a reach, but it's not like there isn't a place for a Raul Ibanez/Eric Chavez-type bat on this team once Granderson's healthy.
For now, though, a little power's going to have to go a long way for the Yankees.