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Granderson, Gardner may switch outfield spots

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Curtis Granderson (AP file photo) Curtis Granderson (AP file photo)

By MARK DIDTLER | AP

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Yankees outfielders Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner could be switching positions.

Granderson worked out in left field Thursday and the speedy Gardner switched to center.

"I think it has a chance to help us a little bit, but I'm not really sure," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's why I've said from the beginning that I'm going to toy with it. I'm not saying today that this is what it's going to be opening day."

Girardi plans to play the pair together in upcoming spring training games.

"See if we like it," Girardi said. "If we do, we'll stay with it. If we don't, we won't."

Granderson also will get some playing time in center.

"I'd loved to play center. That's what I've been playing. At the same time, I want to play in general," Granderson said. "No matter where that happens to be, that's where I want to be at. You never know unless you try things out. We don't know what the best way is going to be."

Gardner still thinks of himself as center fielder, a spot where he has previous experience.

"For the last few years I've been playing left, and that's fine with me," he said. "If we went out there and played right now, I'd go to center, I'd go to left, it doesn't really matter to me."

 

Ichiro Suzuki homered off countryman Hiroki Kuroda during batting practice and tipped his helmet toward the fans after an ovation.

Derek Jeter, coming back from ankle surgery, continued taking part in defensive drills and faced right-hander Jim Miller in BP. He took six pitches, hit a liner to right and fouled a ball in the batting cage.

Jeter is jogging on and off the field but hasn't started a full outdoor running program.

Second baseman Robinson Cano and first baseman Mark Teixeira are among the position players scheduled to play in Saturday's game against Atlanta at Kissimmee. David Phelps will the starting pitcher.

Notes: Cano will find himself in an unfamiliar spot March 6 when he plays against the Yankees for the first time as a member of the Dominican Republic national team. "It's going to be weird. I think that it's going to be fun," he said. "You get to see a different view of the game." ... Girardi said RHP Phil Hughes (injured upper back) felt better, which was a "good sign for me." The Yankees are hopeful that the right-hander will be able to resume throwing in about a week.

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