Brett Gardner to have elbow surgery next week, likely done for season

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Brett Gardner has been trying to come back from a right elbow injury for three months. And now he’ll likely have to wait until 2013 to play another major league game.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees announced this evening that Gardner will undergo surgery next week to remove inflamed tissue from the elbow and is likely to miss the rest of the season. The surgery will be performed by Yankees team doctor Christopher Ahmad.

Gardner hasn’t played since April 17 due to the injury. He tried to ramp things up multiple times, even going on two rehab assignments, but the discomfort in the elbow lingered. His latest setback came after he faced live pitching over the weekend.

The Yankees have relied on a combination of 40-year-old Raul Ibanez and 35-year-old Andruw Jones in left field during Gardner’s absence. While that certainly isn’t the way Yankees general manager Brian Cashman drew it up during the offseason, they seem to be doing just fine. Heck, even Dewayne Wise has played well in a small sample. Still, Cashman figures to keep an eye out for improvements in the coming days.

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.