New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

The Sports Journal

Pinstripe Press

Talk around the Yankee Universe is still centered around who will replace Curtis Granderson in left field for at least a month.

Three or four players on the team are being focused on for the spot.

First is former Yankee Juan Rivera. If you remember him it is probably because he stole Derek Jeter gear and sold it last time with the team. Rivera is 34 years old and hits about.260. Last year he hit.244 for the Dodgers. Rivera hasn’t shown a lot in pre-season so I doubt he’s the favorite.

Second on the list is Melky Mesa. He has risen in the Yankee chart and had 3 at bats last year. He’s 25 years old and hat 23 home runs and 22 steals. His numbers look good, but most people think he is not ready.

Zolio Almonte is only 23 years old and is even less experienced then Mesa. He’s not ranked high on the prospect list, but has shown some pop. He is a free swinger and strikes out often.

Matt Diaz appears to be the favorite. Diaz is 35 years old so he has been around. His best year was 2007 when he finished the season with a career-high.338 batting average in 124 games.

Rookie OF Slade Heathcott has gotten a lot of attention. His future looks bright even though he underwent an MRI for a sprained right thumb. His stock has been growing, but he is only 22. Chances are he will be on the Trenton Thunder come opening day.

So who does it come down to? It will probably be either Rivera or Diaz. I’m leaning towards Diaz although Mesa has played well also.

There is still plenty of time and I would love to see a youngster get the chance to play. The Yankees need to get more from its farm system. The team has been trading for older players and it’s time to stop. The oldest team in baseball needs to get younger.

I believe giving Mesa a chance is the way to go. At age 25 he has some experience and his overall numbers look good. The only way to get better is to play. Diaz is a good back-up to switch to on occasion.

Bringing in a youth will be good overall for the team. This injury is a perfect opportunity to see just which of our youth stands out in the crowd.