Yankees activate Brett Gardner from DL as pinch-runner

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Brett Gardner is back from the disabled list, rejoining the Yankees’ active roster for the first time since mid-April following a series of setbacks with his elbow injury.

However, manager Joe Girardi has indicated that he plans to use Gardner exclusively as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement. Gardner throws left-handed and injured his right elbow, so obviously the belief is that running and playing defense won’t put him at the same risk as hitting would.

Of course, Gardner has been swinging in the batting cage recently, so perhaps it’s not totally out of the question that he could make a late-season appearance as a hitter. Either way, the Yankees’ bench just got a whole lot faster.