Yanks place OF Gardner on disabled list

Updated: July 27, 2009, 4:23 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was put on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of a broken left thumb, leaving the AL East leaders without their fastest player.

To replace Gardner on the roster, New York recalled reliever Jonathan Albaladejo from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Gardner
Gardner

Gardner got hurt while sliding into second base to break up a double play in the first inning Saturday against Oakland.

"We still have four outfielders for three spots where we can spell guys. But Gardy was a part of our club and we're going to be without him for a few weeks," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's possible we could miss him a lot. You can't predict the kind of games you're going to get in."

Unaware how bad his injury was, Gardner remained in the game Saturday -- and played well. He hit an RBI triple, made two diving catches in center field and unleashed a throw to third that prevented a pair of runners from advancing.

All with a fractured thumb on his throwing hand.

Following a 6-4 loss that ended New York's eight-game winning streak, Gardner told the team his thumb was sore. When the Yankees suggested X-rays, he thought they were unnecessary. But they revealed a fracture, and Gardner's thumb was placed in a cast Sunday.

The cast will stay on for two to three weeks, then Gardner will be re-evaluated.

"Best-case scenario I'll be back in 20-25 days," he said, "but it beats having to have surgery and miss the rest of the season."

Girardi said he was "completely shocked" to learn about Gardner's injury after Saturday's game.

"I had no idea he even hurt it in the first inning," Girardi said. "He didn't let anyone know."

In other news, pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (strained right shoulder) is scheduled to see orthopedist Dr. James Andrews early this week.

"They'll probably run some tests," Girardi said.

A part-time player, Gardner has shared center-field duties with Melky Cabrera this season.

Gardner is batting .275 with three homers, 20 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He has six triples in 200 at-bats and has scored 36 runs.

"I was really disappointed yesterday afternoon," Gardner said. "It bothered me during the game. I knew it wasn't just jammed or whatever, but I thought it might just be a little bit of a strain or something not too serious."

Gardner said he caught his thumb on second base as he slid feet first and hard through the bag Saturday.

"Just one of those freak things that happens," he said. "I didn't think it was broken."

Albaladejo arrived at Yankee Stadium a little more than an hour before Sunday's game. In two previous stints with New York this season, he was 4-1 with a 5.04 ERA in 21 relief outings.

The right-hander was 2-0 with five saves and a 1.48 ERA in 16 appearances for Scranton. He was optioned down on July 10.

With Alfredo Aceves and David Robertson unavailable in the bullpen Sunday, the Yankees called up Albaladejo because they wanted a reliever who could provide some length if needed. The team might bring up a position player soon to fill Gardner's spot.

Still, Girardi said the club had no plans to call up touted outfield prospect Austin Jackson.

"It's not something that we've talked about at this point. Obviously, the guy that probably comes up is not going to be an everyday player," Girardi said, "and to bring up a guy like Austin Jackson and sit him on the bench right now, I'm not sure how much sense that would make. But we're going to talk about it. Just get through today and see where we're at and then we can make some decisions."

Designated hitter Hideki Matsui, slowed by surgically repaired knees, is not a candidate to return to the outfield.

"We still plan on DHing him almost every day," Girardi said. "We just feel that it's not worth the risk."

Notes

Slumping 3B Alex Rodriguez was rested, part of his regular program following March hip surgery. Cody Ransom started at third. ... Cabrera started in CF for the finale of a 10-game homestand.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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