63° Good Afternoon
63° Good Afternoon

Yankees’ Brett Gardner hopes to catch up with teammates this week after allowing injury to heal

New York Yankees Brett Gardner fields fly balls

New York Yankees Brett Gardner fields fly balls during Spring Training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa Florida. Feb. 27, 2016 Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. — Brett Gardner hasn’t hit outdoors yet with the rest of his teammates, but he hopes his left wrist will allow him to do that by “early [this] week.”

“Everything felt good,” the leftfielder said Saturday after taking 50 swings indoors, the same hitting regimen he’s had since reporting Thursday.

Gardner suffered a bone bruise in his left wrist during the American League wild-card game last October when he crashing into the wall in right-center while making a second-inning catch.

At the behest of the Yankees, he did not take batting practice during the offseason, thus entering camp a bit behind his teammates. Gardner repeated Saturday that he does not see Opening Day as being in jeopardy.

“Hopefully by the end of next week,” he said, “I’ll be caught up to everybody else.”

Joe Girardi said Gardner “had a good day today” and added: “We’re just taking it kind of slow because we can.”

Early impressions

Pitchers and catchers reported Feb. 18 and Girardi said that in general, he’s been “pleased” with what he’s seen.

“I think there’s a number of good arms,” he said. “It could come down to a pretty good competition as we move forward for those last few spots in the bullpen.’’

Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances are locks for bullpen spots and Ivan Nova or Bryan Mitchell likely will occupy the long-man role. That leaves three jobs open, with young pitchers such as Chasen Shreve, Nick Goody, Nick Rumbelow, James Pazos and Jacob Lindgren getting significant looks.

Relievers with big-league experience elsewhere who are in camp — Vinnie Pestano, Anthony Swarzak and Kirby Yates are among those in that category — also have a shot.

“It’s going to come down to performance, but at the end [of spring training],” Girardi said of his message to the group. “As I’ve told them, I’m not going to judge you too early because I don’t think that’s fair.”

Good early work

Girardi said the bullpen session thrown by James Kaprielian was “really good.” A few in the organization believe that Kaprielian, 21, the Yankees’ first-round draft pick out of UCLA last June, could blow through the minors and hit the big leagues late this season. He finished last season with Class A Staten Island.

Lots to discuss

Before Sunday’s workout, the Yankees will have their annual spring training meeting with Tony Clark, the executive director of the players association, as well as other representatives of the MLBPA. The Basic Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA expires Dec. 1, 2016.

Trainer’s room

An MRI showed that righthander Domingo German, 23, who came to the Yankees from the Marlins in the Nathan Eovaldi trade and who missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, has a strained flexor muscle and a bone bruise in his elbow. He is out indefinitely.

New York Sports