Yankees activate Gardner for situational role

Yankees activate Gardner for situational role

Yankees activate Gardner for situational role
MINNEAPOLIS -- Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner and right-handed reliever David Aardsma were activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game against the Twins.

Gardner hasn't played since April 17 and is returning from arthroscopic surgery performed on his right elbow on July 24. The nature of the injury means Gardner will be used only situationally for the rest of the season.

"I'm not sure about that," Gardner said when asked about the possibility of being an everyday player. "With the guys that we have here -- the guys that have been playing -- my goal is just to try and get healthy. That's the main thing. It isn't trying to play every day or anything like that.

"Any kind of role they need to use me in -- pinch-run or play defense or hit a guy over or anything like that -- I'll be ready for it."

Gardner didn't take batting practice before Tuesday's game and likely won't do so until Thursday in Toronto. The speedy outfielder said he'd need "a couple days of BP" before he would be ready to hit in a game, though manager Joe Girardi shied away from saying Gardner would bat at all this season. He will likely be used only as a pinch-runner or defensive substitute.

Aardsma -- who underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in July 2011 -- hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2010. Girardi wasn't yet certain of how he planned to work the right-hander into the Yankees' bullpen mix.

"It's hard to say," Girardi said. "We're going to have to pick a spot maybe to get him in there. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues in a long time, so we'll have to be careful where we use him."

Meanwhile, the Yankees designated left-hander Justin Thomas and outfielder Steve Pearce for assignment.