Brett Gardner had surgery to remove inflamed tissue and shave down bone spurs in his right elbow late last month, but there’s a chance he could rejoin the Yankees as a pinch-runner/defensive specialist when the rosters expand in September. “If there’s a way he can help us, we’ll definitely use him,” said Joe Girardi today. “If there’s certain things that he can’t do and it’s during the month of August, then you’re kind of limited and you limit your roster. But with an expanded roster, if he can help us, we’ll definitely use him, if it doesn’t jeopardize him getting back next year.”
The Yankees have used guys like Greg Golson and Freddy Guzman as their pinch-runner/defensive replacement late in the season in recent years, and if Gardner can’t return in September that responsibility could fall onto the shoulders of Melky Mesa. He was just promoted to Triple-A and homered in his third game yesterday. Mesa’s already on the 40-man roster, so it’ll be interesting to see if he gets the nod if needed.