Brett Gardner is set to return to the Yankees as a pinch-runner. Daniel Barbarisi has the story in the Wall Street Journal:
It has been eight weeks since the surgery, and Gardner says he feels normal. But he only swung a bat for the first time Tuesday, and is nowhere near being ready to hit, which the .265 career hitter said isn’t such a big deal.
“Obviously I have to be able to swing a bat,” Gardner said. “Somebody joked with me, I think it was one of my buddies down in Tampa. They said, ‘What can you not do?’ I said I can’t hit. They said ‘What’s changed?’”
So for now, he’ll try to salvage his season with his best tools: his legs, and his glove, filling a September role usually reserved for minor leaguers with great legs and weak bats. Instead, manager Joe Girardi will have a veteran to deploy.
“He can play defense if we needed him to play some defense,” Girardi said. “He’s not going to be able to hit, but you have enough guys on your bench that if his spot came up in a crazy game, you could do something.”
[Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images]