5/9/2013 11:53 P.M. ET
Granderson calls first rehab game 'exciting'
By Andrew Kappes / Special to MLB.com
MOOSIC, Pa. -- Curtis Granderson's biggest concern on Thursday upon returning to the clubhouse following his first rehab game was not his healed right arm but his lost sock. That's great news for Yankees fans, and perhaps very fitting on Lost Sock Memorial Night at PNC Field. He found his legitimately lost footwear and, perhaps, his swing as well.
Prior to Thursday night, Granderson had seen just five pitches, all in Spring Training. The fifth was a fastball from Toronto's J.A. Happ on Feb. 24 that broke Granderson's right forearm, and the three-time All-Star's 2013 campaign was put on hold until this appearance with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
"The biggest thing was, it was [my] first night game," Granderson said. "First game with shadows, first game with two-strike battles. I just wanted to hit the ball hard. First day was definitely an exciting one."
Granderson started in right field for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and batted second. In his first at-bat, which came with a runner at first, he hit a soft grounder to second baseman Ivan DeJesus Jr., who threw to second for one out, but Granderson legged it out to prevent a double play.
His second at-bat, in the third inning, was a routine ground ball to DeJesus, but he found success in the sixth with a single in his third and final at-bat, grounding a fastball up the middle and into shallow center. DeJesus made a diving stop but was not able to throw out the speedy Granderson.
When asked about his right arm, Granderson's answer was swift and simple. "It was fine, it felt good."
Granderson was not eased back into action, as he faced Gerrit Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
"The biggest thing I noticed was that his fastball looked down, but never really was," said Granderson of Pittsburgh's top prospect. "He has that ability to get a little rise, and he threw harder as the game went on. It's good to face the best guys no matter what, so you can test to see where you're at."
As his rehab assignment continues, Granderson is trying to get up to speed with his counterparts, who have been playing nearly three months.
"With the at-bats, it's more about timing than anything," he said. "Making sure I'm in a position to attack the baseball. I felt like I was there a majority of the time tonight. I laid off some very good pitches, and to me that's a success."
Granderson's pursuit of a return to New York includes playing full nine-inning games.
"There's some nine-inning games mixed in while I'm here," he said. "There's a DH [appearance] in there as well. I've got to get some nines in before I get the callup."
Andrew Kappes is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.