It’s been almost a month since Brett Gardner hurt his elbow, but it’s going to be at least another 15-25 more days without him after his latest setback while rehabbing in a minor league game.
“He will not pick up a bat for 10 days, then we’ll go from there,” Girardi told Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News. “We’re going to be without Gardy for a while here. It’s very unfortunate. He swung the bat well in Triple-A, but somehow he irritated that muscle again. It’s not the bone bruise; the bone bruise is pretty good. We’ll just be without him.”
The loss of Gardner hasn’t been a huge deal, but it has significantly hurt the defense. Not only have they lost his elite range in left field, but they have replaced him with the Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez tandem that is subpar defensively. To make matters worse, with their DH’s playing in the field Eduardo Nunez has gotten extra playing time as the Yankees have used this time to give Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter days off, further hurting the team’s defense.
Considering how much the starting pitching has been struggling and now the bullpen is without it’s most consistent piece – team defense is very important for the Yankees. His return just from a defensive standpoint could be the difference in one or two runs per game on a daily basis.
At least it is only a strain and Tommy John Surgery isn’t necessary. Worst case scenario – Gardner is still expected back by June.