Granderson gives Brewers upbeat, veteran presence off bench
By GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Curtis Granderson rounded first base and kept going. He reached second, stopped and turned around to smile back toward the Milwaukee Brewers dugout.
Granderson’s trademark enthusiasm is evident even in an off-day workout in the postseason
The Brewers returned to Miller Park on Tuesday, where a handful of players including Granderson took part in a limited session. Milwaukee beat the Colorado Rockies on Sunday to advance to the NL Championship Series, when they will host the Los Angeles Dodgers starting Friday night.
That means four days in between games for the surging Brewers, who have won 11 in a row.
“It’s a chance to rest up a little bit, guys that are banged up get a chance to heal up,” Granderson said.
There could be a down side, too. Granderson would know since he’s played in 59 games over eight postseason appearances.
“Con side of it is, baseball is one of those games where you play a lot games in a row over the course of the season … so consistency in playing is a good thing,” he said.
The 37-year-old Granderson speaks with an easygoing demeanor, but also with the kind of authoritative voice of someone who has played 15 years in the majors.
After six years with the Detroit Tigers, the outfielder moved on to an eight-year stint in New York — four each with the Yankees and Mets.
Granderson has been on the move a lot over the last two seasons, having been traded from the Mets to the Dodgers in 2017. He started this year with the Blue Jays before the Brewers acquired him on Aug. 31 for a minor leaguer.
The addition of Granderson, along with the trade for Mike Moustakas from the Royals in July and the return of Lorenzo Cain via free agency in January, added three postseason veterans to a clubhouse that was relatively short on playoff experience.
“Well, their biggest influence is that they’ve — I think they’ve played well. That’s their biggest influence,” manager Craig Counsell said last week. “I think for players, experience is a great teacher … and so these are guys that have used the experience to their advantage.
Granderson hit .220 with two home runs and three RBIs in 19 games with Milwaukee, serving mainly as a left-handed bat off the bench. He has been impressed with the team’s ability to stay loose, while at the same time not getting too high or too low.
“You have to enjoy the moment. Don’t make any (it) more pressure-sensitive than it already is. The pressure is always there . just continue to have fun,” Granderson said.
Playing mainly off the bench, Granderson might benefit from the off-day workout on Tuesday more than regulars like Christian Yelich and Cain, who were not on the field.
It doesn’t simulate a game situation, but any little bit will help, too, to stay fresh.
“You’re trying to get ready to roll so you can be ready for those days. But it’s a similar challenge we’re going to be facing that the Dodgers are going to be facing,” he said. “They only got one extra day of rest.”
He seems like he’s always to find the bright side of a situation.
NOTES: Counsell said the team had a conversation about roster makeup on Tuesday, with another one coming Wednesday. Any roster changes aren’t due until Friday morning. After going with a bullpen day in Game 1 against Colorado, the Brewers may have to make some changes to their pitching staff. “There’s a potential for seven games in nine days instead of five in seven days, so that’s a different equation,” Counsell said.
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