Gardner was activated from the 60-day disabled list before Tuesday's game, giving the Yankees an experienced pinch-runner to use late in games during the final nine games - and potentially the postseason.It would be great if he proved he was able to hit, but it seems unlikely. Either way, it will be a nice addition to have his speed and defense off the bench.
"I'm excited; it's something I've been ready for for a little while," Gardner said. "I kind of understand what my role is; I might not play for three, four, five days. As the game goes along, I'll try to get a feel for what kind of situation might pop up and I'll be ready to go."
With his arm healthy once again, the 29-year-old is hoping to make a positive impact on his team after being limited to nine games and 34 at-bats during the Yankees' first 153 contests.
Gardner has been hitting in the indoor batting cages with hitting coach Kevin Long, but he plans to take his BP to the field for the first time Thursday in Toronto.
"I feel like I could physically do it right now," Gardner said. "But as far as me feeling like I'm pretty ready, I would need a couple of days of BP on the field."
Gardner estimates that if he is able to hit on the field Thursday without any issues, he could be available to hit in a game by Sunday or Monday.
It remains to be seen whether he will be able to do much more than pinch-run and play late-inning defense, but even if he proves that he's ready to hit, Gardner isn't expecting to take over a starting spot in the season's final games.
Joe Girardi was uncertain whether Gardner would eventually serve in a larger capacity than pinch-runner or defensive replacement this season. Although the manager didn't rule it out, he didn't sound optimistic, either.
"I don't know how realistic it is that he could do more," Girardi said. "He's got to go through some BP, and he thing is, he's probably not going to have any game at-bats. That kind of makes it tough. It's something we'll continue to evaluate as we go on."
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
From Mark Feinsand:
Tags: Brett Gardner