Garnder suffered the injury against the Minnesota Twins Tuesday night when he made a sliding catch in the third inning. He participated in batting practice on Wednesday and said he felt good. However, Garnder apparently felt pain approximately 30 minutes before game-time when he was hitting balls in the batting cage.
“It wasn’t fine,” manager Joe Girardi said. “At some point, in between [batting practice and the cage,] it must have really flared up so we sent him to get an MRI and that is what the diagnosis was.”
There was no confirmation on what muscle Garnder strained, but Girardi indicated it was somewhere above the elbow.
The injury will affect the Yankees greatly as Garnder is currently one of the hottest hitters on the club. New York as a team is batting .287, fourth in the majors, but Garnder has been a big part of that. In 28 at-bats this season he is hitting .321 with three RBI, five runs, two stolen bases, seven strikeouts and a .424 on-base percentage.
Andruw Jones will get the majority of playing time in left field while Eduardo Nunez may substitute if necessary. Nunez is the hottest hitter on the team with a .400 batting average in 15 plate appearances while Jones is hitting .211 in 19 at-bats.
The Yankees hope Gardner will return soon because they cannot afford to lose him for a substantial amount of time. New York is currently 6-6 and third in the American League East. They will look to even the four-game series against the Twins tonight in New York. Phil Hughes (0-2) will take the mound for the Yankees while Anthony Swarzak (0-2) hopes to give Minnesota a much needed series win.