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Brewers claim Gardner off waivers

Brewers claim Gardner off waivers

CHICAGO -- The Brewers needed another pitcher for Triple-A Nashville and found him on Monday, claiming right-hander Richie Gardner off waivers from the Reds.

Gardner, 26, was Cincinnati's sixth-round Draft pick in 2003 and that organization's Minor League pitcher of the year in 2004, but suffered a torn labrum late in the 2005 season and required a major surgery that has delayed his rise to the Majors.

The Brewers assigned Gardner to Nashville and are hoping he can build on his momentum from 2007. Gardner started at Class A Sarasota, going 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA in seven starts, then went 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA in six starts at Double-A Chattanooga. In 13 starts to finish the season at Triple-A Louisville, he went 4-5 with a 5.71 ERA.

"It's a remarkable story," Reds Minor League director Terry Reynolds told MLB.com this spring. "A year ago, he was stuck in rehab wondering if he could pitch again. His attitude was great. He knows how to pitch. I don't know if he's back to where he was, but he's close. He's kind of right back on schedule."

The Reds added Gardner to their 40-man roster in November, which brought him to big league camp this spring. He was optioned to Triple-A on March 12 after allowing seven runs in a pair of Grapefruit League outings.

Gardner could join Chris Narveson, Zach Jackson, Mark DiFelice and Lundsay Gulin in Nashville's rotation. Injured Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo will also start the season there for at least two turns through the rotation.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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