The New York Yankees lost one of their best defensive players Wednesday night when Brett Gardner was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a bone bruise and strain of his right elbow.
Gardner injured his arm Tuesday while making a sliding catch to end the third inning, though he said after the game that it was his wrist that took the brunt of it. The soreness moved down to his elbow on Wednesday, and after testing the arm with two rounds of batting practice, Gardner was scratched from the lineup and sent for an MRI.
"He took BP today and said he felt fine, but when he went to take his swings in the cage at 6:20 or 6:30, it wasn't fine," manager Joe Girardi said. "At some point in between that, it must have flared up."
With Gardner out, the Yankees will use Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez and Eduardo Nunez in the outfield, though they eventually could call up another outfielder from the minors.
Right-handed reliever Cody Eppley, who was claimed off waivers from Texas on the last day of spring training, will take Gardner's spot on the roster Thursday to give the bullpen an extra arm. Eppley, 26, had pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings over five appearances this season for Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He had allowed two hits and one walk while striking out nine.
"Brett's a special player," first baseman Mark Teixeira said after the Yankees' 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins. "He can beat you with his glove, beat you with his legs, beat you with his bat, bunting the ball, whatever it may be. He's been playing really well, so we're going to miss him."