Curtis Granderson shifting to left field

By Danny Abriano

In a move that’s been widely assumed for months, Curtis Granderson will be shifting from right field to left field this season.

Granderson, who played mainly right field last season, is making the move to left field to accommodate offseason signing Michael Cuddyer, who will play right field and also get some occasional work at first base when Lucas Duda sits against tough left-handers.

Cuddyer is hard of hearing in his left ear, making right field the natural spot for him so he can clearly hear the center fielder calling for any balls that might be in question.

Over the course of his career, Cuddyer’s outfield duty has almost all come in right field.


While Cuddyer’s hearing issue and history in right field necessitated Granderson moving to left field, the move would’ve made sense regardless.

Neither Granderson or Cuddyer is viewed as above average defenders (with Cuddyer rating as especially poor according to the metrics), but it can be argued that Granderson’s weak arm made him much more of a liability in right field than Cuddyer will be.

With the Mets having moved the fences in right-center field in, Cuddyer will have less ground to cover than previous Mets right-fielders, perhaps offsetting his lack of range a bit.

As far as Granderson, his decent range should translate just fine in left field while his weak arm is much more hidden there than it would’ve been in right field.

Of course, with Gold Glove winner Juan Lagares covering tons of ground in center field, he should be able to mask some of Granderson and Cuddyer’s shortcomings as it pertains to their range.

Looking past who the Mets have in the corner outfield spots to open the season, the club has outfielder Brandon Nimmo (expected to open at Triple-A Las Vegas),  who might challenge for either Granderson or Cuddyer’s spot as soon as August. The Mets also have outfielder Michael Conforto (expected to open at High-A St. Lucie), who could make an impact as early as 2016.

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