BALTIMORE — Brett Gardner didn’t feel all that much better a day later. The leftfielder, hit on the right elbow with a pitch Wednesday night, was not in the starting lineup Thursday night against the Orioles, replaced by Aaron Hicks.
“A little sore, a little stiff,” Gardner said. “I’ll hit in the cage, hopefully get loose if he [Joe Girardi] needs me.”
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Gardner was hit in the top of the eighth inning Wednesday night and stayed in the game before being replaced in the field in the bottom of the ninth. X-rays were negative. “I’d say it’s about the same,” he said Thursday. “But I expect to be available.”
Girardi said using Gardner was a possibility — he pinch ran for Brian McCann in the 10th inning — but with the uncertainty surrounding him, a roster move was necessary. Outfielder Ben Gamel was brought up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees also optioned lefthanded reliever James Pazos to Scranton.
Gamel, 23, the Yankees’ 10th-round pick in 2010, had a .286/.346/.363 slash line in 23 games with Scranton. He can play all three outfield positions. “I was shocked,” he said of his promotion. “It’s a dream come true. This is why we do this.”
Gamel was chosen over several other options, including Nick Swisher, a former Yankee signed to a minor-league deal three weeks ago.
Swisher, 35, has hit well in Scranton but is playing on two surgically repaired knees and was signed primarily as insurance at first base, not as an outfielder.
“Bat is a little better than when he was with Cleveland,” one opposing team minor-league scout said of Swisher. “But there’s nothing down there left [in his legs].”
Swisher his 105 home runs with the Yankees from 2009 to 2012.
Headley not in starting lineup
Chase Headley and his .153/.253/.153 slash line in 72 at-bats started on the bench Thursday night, replaced by Ronald Torreyes, who was at .375/.375/.500 in 11 games. Headley batted for Torreyes in the ninth and grounded out.
Though many Yankees fans have been clamoring for such a move to become permanent, Girardi said Headley will be back in the lineup Friday night against the Red Sox. “It’s way too early to think about that,” Girardi said of benching Headley. “We’ve seen a number of guys over the years have a bad 100 at-bats. So I think it’s really premature for that.”
A-Rod evaluation on hold
The Yankees still have not disclosed the severity of Alex Rod riguez’s right hamstring strain and are waiting for him to be evaluated Friday by team physician Chris Ahmad. “It was read by a radiologist here,” Girardi said of the MRI taken Wednesday that showed the strain. “We want it to be read by our doctor.”