Brett Gardner could be out through All-Star break after another setback with elbow

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Bad news for the Bombers.

According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Brett Gardner felt more pain in his elbow this morning after playing a rehab game with Low-A Charleston last night and will see a doctor on Monday. This is his second time he has been pulled off a rehab assignment since being placed on the disabled list in mid-April with a strained right elbow.

The Yankees were hoping to activate Gardner within the next couple of days, but manager Joe Girardi is now saying that he doesn’t expect him back until after the All-Star break.

Raul Ibanez has seen most of the playing time in left field during Gardner’s absence, with Andruw Jones, Jayson Nix, DeWayne Wise and Eduardo Nunez also filling in. We’ll probably add Chris Dickerson to that list soon now that he’s back in action with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but it will be interesting to see if the Yankees are in the market for some extra insurance for their outfield in the coming weeks.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.