Expected to come off the disabled list today, Brett Gardner is instead getting an MRI after suffering a setback in last night’s rehab game.
“I can’t tell you when he’s going to be available to us,” Joe Girardi said. “But I can tell you it won’t be today.”
Girardi said Gardner had no problems during last night’s game, but when it was over, his right elbow was swollen and sore. The problem is in the muscle and doesn’t seem connected to his bone bruise, and the Yankees believed the previous muscular injury had completely healed.
“It could be new,” Girardi said. “But he had the bone bruise plus the muscular part before. The muscular part had healed, but he’s feeling it in that area and he had some swelling. He played the whole game yesterday without a problem. It was after. … We miss him, there’s no doubt about it. The way he was swinging the bat, his defense, the way he puts pressure on defense. We miss his presence in left field, but we have to find a way to get it done without him. I don’t know when we’re going to get him back. I’m sure today will be much more revealing after he goes through the tests and probably gets examined by the doctor, see how it responds and feels tomorrow. For right now, we don’t have him.”
For now Dewayne Wise is the Yankees extra left-handed outfielder and seems to be their backup in center field.
• Eric Chavez took the concussion test again today and hopes to be activated tomorrow. “I felt better about it,” he said. The Yankees are still waiting for clearance from the league office for Chavez to be activated from the disabled list. Today’s test results were sent to the league office along with more information than the Yankees sent yesterday. “He has not been cleared yet,” Girardi said. “I don’t know how long it takes. As soon as he’s cleared, we’ll probably put him in there.”
• Andy Pettitte did a conference call this afternoon to discuss his upcoming return to the Yankees rotation. There wasn’t any real breaking news out of the conference call, but Pettitte said he feels ready despite the so-so results in his minor league starts. “It’s time now,” he said. “I’ve got my pitch count up and it’s time to get up here and try to get going up here now.”
• Pettitte said he’s been coming to the stadium every day around 11:30 in the morning to work with Larry Rothschild. He’s been throwing his bullpens here, and he’s been working out in White Plains with the Yankees strength and conditioning coordinator. “My preparation for this game has been exactly like it normally would have been,” he said.
• Although he didn’t watch many Yankees games last year, Pettitte said the only games he’s missed this season have been on days when he was pitching himself. He got the YES Network added to his hotel TV package while he was staying in Tampa.
• Girardi said it’s possible but unlikely that Dave Robertson will be available tonight. “I need our guys to play catch and see how they feel,” Girardi said. “For me, he’s doubtful, but I’ll talk to him after he goes out there today.”
• Same thing for Rafael Soriano. It sounds like he’s slightly more likely to be available, but Girardi wants to check with Soriano as well before deciding who would handle a save situation tonight. “Sori has worked more in this role during his career, in a sense,” Girardi said. “I’ll check to see how he feels. There were a couple days last year I was shocked that he said he felt good. I’ll talk to him and see how he feels.”
• Girardi once again insisted that Chris Stewart is not CC Sabathia’s personal catcher, it’s just worked out well for Stewart to catch Sabathia so that Russell Martin has regular days off. Girardi said that, if this were a playoff game, Martin would catch Sabathia. “I choose my days to give Russell off,” Girardi said. “A lot of days, I’ll catch Stew against left handers as well, in a sense. Yeah, he’s caught him three or four starts, but I’m not saying it’s going o be that way the whole year. Everyone is going to want to make something of it right now, but it’s not going to be that way the whole year.”
Associated Press photos