Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the team would consider bringing Brett Gardner back in a limited role once rosters expand in September.Not a bad idea. It can't hurt to have that extra base stealer on the bench, especially, as Girardi pointed out, with the rosters expanded to 40. Only problem is that once the playoff begin, and runs become even more important and harder to come by, that weapon won't be available.
"If there's a way that he can help us, we'll definitely use him, especially in the month of September, when you can expand rosters," Girardi said. "If there are certain things that he can't do and it's during the month of August, then you kind of 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 outfielder recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on inflamed tissue in his right elbow, causing many to believe his season would likely be over. But on Sunday, Gardner said he thinks he can still come back and contribute at some point this season.
Gardner's struggles in his rehab games earlier this season were mostly due to discomfort he felt while swinging the bat, but his value this season could come on the basepaths, where he swiped 49 bases last season. While he hasn't played since April 17, and the few attempts he's made at a comeback ended unsuccessfully, Gardner could be used as a pinch-runner or a defensive replacement off the bench once rosters expand.