New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner has missed his second consecutive game with an injury to his ankle that he had gotten when he fouled off a pitch during one of his at-bats on Saturday.
An injury like that is one that a player cannot help; it happens in the game of baseball everyday. However, the hit the Yankees have taken with his absence is a big one. Gardner has arguably been the team’s MVP for the season, and when it comes to an ankle, they cannot take that lightly. Gardner is second on the Yankees in batting average (.269), tied for second in home runs (15), and fourth on the team in runs batted in (52). That is not bad for a hitter who has been seeing a lot of his playing time at the top of the order.
With an injury to his ankle, that takes Gardner away from all aspects of the game. If he cannot put pressure on the ankle, he cannot run. Therefore his total of 19 stolen bases would not climb much higher and he would not be able to track down fly balls in left field having to run them down. He also would not be able to be the same batter he has shown to be all season if he had to take it all carefully in the batters box and be sure to not apply any pressure when he goes up swinging.
The Yankees have to remain hopeful that the pain will go away, and quickly. The team simply cannot risk him seeing time on the disabled list this time of the season when they are in a tough stretch to the end the season and they still have hopes of making the playoffs. Without his bat or glove, it will be hard to see the team succeed beyond September.