Brett Gardner gets good news with MRI on wrist, expected to return Friday

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Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner hasn’t played since he suffered a bone bruise in his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch in Monday’s game against the Orioles, but Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that he is expected to return to the starting lineup tomorrow night against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Gardner said Wednesday that he was “happy” with how he felt and was “headed in the right direction,” but he underwent an MRI today in Tampa which confirmed the initial diagnosis from Monday’s X-rays. That should be enough to clear him to return.

Gardner, who set career-highs with 17 homers and 58 RBI in 2014, is batting .261 (6-for-23) with one home run and a .393 on-base percentage over six games so far this season.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.