The New York Yankees will seemingly be without Brett Gardner for the remainder of the 2012 season as he will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow next week. The Yankees have received excellent efforts from Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones in Gardner’s place, but will the aging veterans be able to hold up for the remainder of the season?
Yankees general manager has been non-committal when discussing upgrades in the outfield. He has only stated that the team will not make a move which would only marginally help the team. He may have to think that through again as Nick Swisher left last night’s loss in the ninth inning after feeling a grab in the left leg area when trying to beat out a grounder in the seventh.
“Just tried to turn on that extra gear, went to go grab it and it grabbed something else,” Swisher said. “I hate getting busted up like this, but we got to do what we gotta do to get back on the field.”
Swisher does not feel this is a disabled list type of injury saying it was “not in his vocabulary.”
The Yankees have been linked to Shane Victorino recently as a replacement for Gardner. I’ve written that the Yankees could be fine going the route of utilizing Ibanez and Jones along with the rest of the current bench instead of making a move. But, that was prior to Swisher going down. If Swisher’s injury turns into something more than just a few days of healing, the Yankees should be inclined to pursue Victorino or at least someone else who could provide outfield depth. Maybe that should be their stance regardless of Swisher’s recovery time.
Chamberlain moves up to Tampa
After pitching four innings with the Gulf Coast League Yankees over the last two weeks, Joba Chamberlain made a two-inning appearance with the Tampa Yankees, the big club’s High-A affiliate. Yesterday’s appearance was Chamberlain’s first two-inning stretch of his rehab. He allowed two runs (one earned), two hits, of which one was a homer, a walk and he struck out one. There is surely more for Chamberlain to accomplish during rehab. Yankees manager Joe Girardi has said that it is important that Chamberlain be ready to pitch on back-to-back days as well as three out of four days.
Pettitte healing, not dealing
While it was a nice to see Andy Pettitte throwing long toss in the Oakland Coliseum outfield, he is still healing and any real mound work is “a little ways away” according to Girardi. Pettitte is on the 60-day DL which means he will be out until the end of August at the earliest. The Yankees will certainly be cautious in their approach with Pettitte, especially if they are able to maintain a healthy lead in the AL East.