February 25th, 2010

Eyes on Granderson, or Granderson on eyes

Plenty has been speculated about why Curtis Granderson had certain struggles so much against lefties and got a late read on some fly balls. Some questioned his commitment to baseball, of all things. Others have questioned the coaching.

What hadn’t popped up was his eyessight, at least until recently. But Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News has the story: Granderson is wearing contacts after being diagnosed with 20/30 vision.

When the trade was awaiting review of medical records, it was reported that one holdup was an eye exam the Yankees requested for Granderson, though he didn’t undergo one leading up to the trade. Once the trade was completed, though, the Yankees had him take another eye exam.

Granderson isn’t blaming eyesight for anything. It isn’t that 20/30 is necessarily bad eyesight. For a professional baseball player trying to recognize pitches coming out of a pitcher’s hand, or immediately read how well or how poorly a ball was hit off the bat, as Granderson struggled to do at times, it’s easy to see how even a little problem makes a huge difference.

For what it’s worth, the Tigers have players undergo eye exams each season around the start along with their physicals.

UPDATE: Leyland was asked about this on Friday morning. His answer was similar to the paragraph above.

“We had him all checked out, like we do all our guys,” Leyland said. He had a thorough eye examination and everything. I mean, he hit 30 home runs.”