Brett Gardner downplays talk of missing season, seeks second opinion on elbow

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After his latest setback wiped out another planned minor-league rehab assignment Brett Gardner is getting a pair of opinions on his injured elbow from Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Tim Kremchek.

Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yankees “refused to fully divulge what doctors have learned” and “declined to share details about the condition of his elbow” until after hearing from both doctors.

In the meantime manager Joe Girardi ruled out a torn ligament and Tommy John surgery, which would have ended Gardner’s season.

For his part Gardner insisted to reporters that he’ll play again this year, saying: “It really doesn’t matter what [Dr. Andrews] said. I think I’m going to play.” Of course, that’s not really how elbow injuries and doctors work, and the fact that missing the remainder of the season is now even in the discussion seems like a pretty discouraging sign.

Gardner has already missed two months with an injury initially described as an elbow strain.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.