Gardner could play in playoffs

September, 18, 2012
9/18/12
6:35
PM ET
The question is no longer if, but when Brett Gardner will be reactivated to join the Yankees for the remainder of the regular season as a defensive replacement-slash-pinch runner.

But Joe Girardi also raised the possibility that Gardner, who has missed all but nine games with a right elbow injury that eventually required arthroscopic surgery, could be added to the Yankees' postseason roster, provided they get that far.

"I wouldn’t say he’s completely ruled out (for the playoffs)," Girardi said. "I’m sure it’s something that if you’re sitting around a table you could talk about."

The Yankees have already had that talk about Gardner for the final 16 games of the regular season, and it is possible he would have been activated for tonight's game against the Blue Jays if it hadn't been rained out. Girardi said Gardner could help the Yankees in the outfield and on the basepaths, but did rule out any chance that Gardner, who re-injured the elbow several times while swinging in rehab games, would be used as a hitter.

Or, for that matter, a bunter, even though Gardner practiced bunting in the batting cage here over the weekend.

"That’s kind of a tough situation because if people know that he’s not supposed to swing, they can basically play 30 feet away," Girardi said.
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

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.288 14 64 64
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 64
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .787
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.88
SOM. Tanaka 135