Granderson will start
TAMPA, Fla. — Curtis Granderson will be the starting center fielder for the New York Yankees.
Manager Joe Girardi made the announcement before yesterday's exhibition game with Toronto.
The Yankees explored the possibility of shifting Granderson, a 2009 AL All-Star, to left so the speedy Brett Gardner could play center. Gardner will play in left.
Girardi says there was "no wrong decision."
"They both did a very nice job at both spots," Girardi said. "Grandy has played a lot of center field in his career, and so has Gardy, but we just decided that we were going to go with Grandy in center. Try not to move him around and put him in one spot."
Granderson was obtained from Detroit in a three-team, seven-player trade last December.
Also, backup catcher Francisco Cervelli has a left hamstring strain and is not expected to play again during spring training. Girardi is hopeful that Cervelli can avoid going on the disabled list.
"I think it's nothing serious," said Cervelli, who had an MRI exam on Wednesday. "A little pinch. A little tight. Nothing like pain. We'll see what happens."
Rangers-Giants: The Texas Rangers sent left-hander Edwin Escobar to the San Francisco Giants yesterday in order to retain lefty Ben Snyder, a Rule 5 draft pick.
Snyder was selected from the Giants by the Baltimore Orioles in the Rule 5 draft on December 10. The Orioles then immediately traded Snyder to Texas as the player to be named in the Kevin Millwood-for-Chris Ray trade.
The Rangers had to offer Snyder back to the Giants when they chose not to put him on the major league roster. They retained his rights by sending Escobar to the Giants.
Snyder has been assigned outright to Double-A Frisco of the Texas League.
Dodgers: Los Angeles picked Blake DeWitt as its opening day second baseman and knuckleballer Charlie Haeger as its No. 5 starter.
Before manager Joe Torre and general manager Ned Colletti let DeWitt know he had made the club, they played an April Fool's joke. DeWitt said Torre told him he was being sent to Triple-A Albuquerque. After DeWitt admitted he didn't know the date, Torre told him it was April 1.
Mets: New York shortstop Jose Reyes will start the season on the disabled list to get in better shape.
Reyes says the team told him yesterday he'll be on the DL because he's had so little practice in spring training. He returned to camp last week following a three-week absence because of thyroid issues.
Also, closer Francisco Rodriguez has left the team to attend to family issues in Venezuela. General manager Omar Minaya yesterday did not give any details about Rodriguez's situation, but says he expects the right-hander to be back with the team by opening day.
Phillies: Philadelphia pitcher Joe Blanton has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a mild left oblique strain.
Blanton could be out three to six weeks. He suffered the injury while throwing a side session Wednesday.
Blanton, who hasn't been on the DL in six seasons, was projected as the No. 3 starter behind Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels.
Reds: The Cincinnati Reds' plans to slash their spring training roster got pushed back another day at Goodyear, Ariz.
The Reds made two moves yesterday, optioning right-hander Carlos Fisher to Triple-A Louisville and reassigning catcher Corky Miller to their minor league camp. They're left with 38 players in camp — 13 over the limit for opening day.
Red Sox: Boston pitcher Junichi Tazawa will have elbow ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow on Tuesday, an operation that is likely to sideline him for about a year.
Tazawa, a right-hander who turns 24 in June, signed with the Red Sox in December 2008. He was a combined 9-7 with a 2.55 ERA at three minor league levels last year and 2-3 with a 7.46 ERA in four starts and two relief appearances for Boston.