Brett Gardner’s rehab assignment pushed back due to rainout

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UPDATE: Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was rained out tonight, so Gardner won’t begin his rehab assignment until tomorrow.

Gardner is expected to play two rehab games, so he won’t rejoin the Yankees until Thursday at the earliest.

12:48 PM: Brett Gardner wasn’t ready to come off the disabled list when eligible last week, but the Yankees left fielder is very close to returning from an elbow injury.

Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reports that Gardner will begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Triple-A, with manager Joe Girardi indicating that he may only need 2-3 games there before rejoining the Yankees’ lineup.

Gardner has been out since April 18 and his absence combined with Nick Swisher also getting hurt has led to the Yankees turning to the likes of Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, and DeWayne Wise in the outfield corners.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.