Brett Gardner’s latest MRI results are in the hands of doctors, but Joe Girardi said those doctors have yet to meet with Gardner, and there is no new diagnosis or rehab plan to announce. But the Yankees are moving forward as if Gardner is lost for the season.
UPDATE: No sooner had a posted this than the Yankees came through with an update: Gardner will have surgery next week to remove inflamed tissue from his right elbow. The surgery will “most likely” end his season.
“That’s kind of what you do,” Girardi said. “Until someone’s back, you really can’t say, we’re counting on this guy. It’s unfortunate because I think we’ve missed some of the things that he brings to our club. He’s had a couple of different setbacks and I think you have to proceed that, if you were to get him, it wouldn’t be until at least September.”
Brian Cashman has been telling anyone who will listen that he’s not deperate to make a move. That sense of urgency might change now that Gardner has suffered another setback, but the Yankees are getting pretty good production out of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones — especially lately — and they have guys like Dewayne Wise, Chris Dickerson and Kosukue Fukudome and Darnell McDonald providing some depth. The Yankees still have the best record in baseball, so all things considered, it’s not a terrible situation.
“You look at the numbers that Andruw and Raul have amassed together with the home runs and the RBIs, and you’re able to use Wisey for defense late if you want to,” Girardi said. “They’ve done a good job. We do miss that speed element that Brett brought to the game, but I’ve been pleased with what these guys have done.”
A few minor moves…
• The Yankees have traded outfielder Dan Brewer to the Braves for cash. I was told today that it was just a move to give a guy a chance to play elsewhere. Brewer’s not a bad player, but he was definitely traped in this system. He got some time in big league camp a few years ago, but he never really cracked the prospect radar.
• My old friend Donnie Collins — whose recent Penn State coverage has been as good as anyone’s in the country — texted me this morning to say Darnell McDonald has cleared waivers and been assigned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
• Also in Triple-A: Veteran starting pitcher Nelson Figueroa has been released. That might have been an opt-out situation. He was replaced on the roster by Double-A call-up Danny Farquhar.
• David Phelps has re-joined the big league club. He replaced D.J. Mitchell who was sent back to Triple-A and pitched five scoreless innings today.
• Reggie Jackson is back with the Yankees for the first time since his controversial statements were published in Sports Illustrated. “I’m here like you, to watch the games,” Jackson said. “To watch them keep winning.”
• Girardi on Jackson’s return: “I think it’s all behind us. I think that’s the most important thing. I think Reg has made a number of calls to try to rectify everything. I’m OK with it. I’m glad he’s here. Let’s just move on.”
• Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to make another rehab appearance tomorrow. “I think once we get him going back to back I think you’ll have a better idea (of when he’ll be activated),” Girardi said. “You want to see how he responds the second day. Those 30 days are ticking.”
• Girardi said he plans to use Phelps as more than a long reliever. “We’ve seen the last couple of weeks, there were times we would use him,” Girardi said. “Some of our guys down there are mix-and-match. Sometimes they’ve thrown a couple of days in a row where, Cory (Wade) was that guy (who could step in) for the last year for us, that you would go to and I’d say, ‘I need five outs from him. I don’t want to mix and match today because I’ve used these guys too much.’ Here’s a guy that I feel you can do it with.”
• Girardi on why Chris Stewart is starting today: “Him and Freddy have been together and I’ve liked what they’ve done. Long flight yesterday. It was hot, hot day yesterday. Just keep both catchers fresh. They’re both doing a great job.”
• Tonight the Yankees face Oakland starter A.J. Griffin, who they’ve never seen before. “From what I’ve seen he’s got outstanding command, good command of his fastball,” Girardi said. “He’s got a very slow curveball that he uses to put hitters away at times. He’s a guy that’s just going to pitch.”
Associated Press photo