Thursday, March 17, 2016

Quick Pitch: Gardner returns to Yankees

Spring Training Game 15: Blue Jays 1, Yankees 2 (Yanks Spring Record: 5-8-2)

Brett Gardner
Photo: Keith Allison
The New York Yankees are not worried about wins and losses in spring training, but rather being whole when they head north from Tampa. They got a step closer to reaching that goal as outfielder Brett Gardner made his first appearance in a game this spring.

Gardner went 0-for-2, grounding out and striking out, looking understandably rusty at the plate. Gardner was taking it easy in the spring due to a wrist injury he suffered in last season's wild card game while catching a ball and falling into the outfield wall.

Gardner will not play again until Friday as Yankees manager Joe Girardi noted during the game telecast that there is no need to rush him back with over two weeks left in spring training. It's reasonable to believe that Gardner will start to play in back to back games by the end of next week and get full games in by beginning of the following week. Gardner can still get 40-50 plate appearances before the regular season opener on April 4.

Castro impressing at plate

Starlin Castro is making his transition to the Yankees look quite easy. Of course it is spring training, but Castro has shown there is plenty of life in his bat thus far. Castro's two-run homer Monday night was the Yankees lone run support and his 1-for-2 performance lifted his spring average to .429. Besides Castro's offensive output, he has been solid at second base. Losing Adam Warren was tough for the Yankees, but there is a chance they found a gem in Castro.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.