Via Jeff Bradley, outfielder Brett Gardner will take his hacks in live batting practice today. “I feel great,” he said. “I have hit in the cages this week. Soft toss. And once I hit live on the field, I think I’ll be able to show that I’m 100 percent and ready to play. My body feels like it’s March. I’m excited to get back on the field and help any way I can.”
The 29-year-old Gardner has missed basically the entire season with an elbow injury that (eventually) required surgery. We’ve been hearing that he’s close to being activated as a pinch-runner/defensive specialist for a few days now, though I wonder if this new batting practice stuff means he’ll be able to hit in games as well. That would be huge, especially against right-handed pitchers. Stick Gardner in left, Ichiro Suzuki in right, Nick Swisher at first, Raul Ibanez at DH, and they’re good to go.