Gardner the pinch runner?

July, 17, 2012
7/17/12
5:32
PM ET
Joe Girardi could provide no new information on the condition of Brett Gardner at his pregame news conference. "I called this afternoon, but I think he was in the MRI tube,'' Girardi said.

But in answer to a question, the manager left open the possibility that even if he is not fully healthy, the speedy Gardner could return as a September call-up in another role.

"You could use him as a pinch runner in September, and maybe as a defensive replacement,'' Girardi said. "It just depends on whether he doesn't get healthy and what we need.''

Gardner's right elbow strain pains him when he swings, but presumably would not affect his running or fielding, especially since he throws left-handed.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .286
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 64
RB. Gardner 79
OPSJ. Ellsbury .778
ERAH. Kuroda 3.88
SOM. Tanaka 135