Brett Gardner returned to Yankee Stadium and spoke prior to tonight’s game about the muscle strain in his right elbow — an injury the left fielder can’t seem to kick.
He had been eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday, but the Yankees reported last night that Gardner had suffered a setback. He felt sore after a rehab game Thursday with Scranton.
The pain didn’t surface on Wednesday, when Gardner swung three times and put the ball in play each time. He had a triple in his first at-bat Thursday and walked in his second. It wasn’t until he swung and missed and swung and fouled off pitches in his final two at-bats that the extension of the elbow caused some discomfort.
Gardner had an MRI today and learned that the same muscle strain remains, although it has improved. His bone bruise appears to have healed completely.
Gardner was told to discontinue baseball activities for 8-10 days. He had originally waited about a week before resuming activities this time.
“I guess I just tried to come back a day or two too early maybe,” Gardner said. “It’s not anybody’s fault. It’s not really the doctor’s fault, the training staff’s fault or me. I felt good. I thought I was good to go. Obviously, I didn’t wait long enough.”
Here’s audio from Gardner. Joe Girardi also discusses Gardner’s condition, as well as why the Yankees sent down Eduardo Nunez.
• Eric Chavez (concussion) was activated from the 7-day DL today when he was cleared to return from action. Chavez said he took cognitive tests at the hospital on Tuesday and at the ballpark Wednesday and Thursday. He took saw pitches in the cage beginning Tuesday and took live BP on Wednesday and Thursday.
The fogginess he experienced after suffered the concussion has subsided.
“I can’t really put an exact definition on it other than I just felt a little funny in the head,” he said. “The last three days it’s subsided and I feel good.”
Chavez said this was his third concussion.
• Rafael Soriano probably won’t be available out of the bullpen tonight, according to Girardi. He pitched an inning each of the last three nights, and earned the save in Thursday’s win over Tampa.
David Robertson will pitch in a closing situation. Robertson didn’t pitch last night after throwing in the first two games of the series against Tampa. On Wednesday, Robertson blew the save in just his second opportunity since taking over the job for the injury Mariano Rivera.
“I don’t have any plans to do that right now,” Girardi said about alternating save chances for the two pitchers. “As I’ve said, I think it’s easier when you kind of have a set way that you’re going to do it, but there are going to be days where you have to change a little bit.”
• With Nunez sent packing, Jayson Nix will backup at second and short and Chavez at third.
• Here’s what Girardi said about the return of Jesus Montero, who is at Yankee Stadium for the first time since he was traded on Jan. 13:
“We thought he was going to be a great bat, but we also thought we were going to get a great pitcher and time will tell now that he’s going through an injury,” Girardi said of the trade for Michael Pineda. “We think (Pineda) is going to bounce back fine and great pitchers are hard to come by.”