Every few days manager Joe Girardi addresses the status of left fielder Brett Gardner and his injured wrist that has kept him out nearly two months. And every time he does so, it seems that the word is setback is mentioned.
Saturday was not any different when Girardi discussed Gardner, who went 1-for-3 in a rehab game Friday night for Class A Charleston of the South Atlantic League.
“He woke up and had pain,” Girardi said. “Obviously it’s a setback. I’m not sure when we’ll see him.”
And each time those words are said by Girardi, he seems confounded with having to say them, especially now that he will not have his biggest speed threat until after the All-Star break at the earliest.
“He seems to get to a point where he can do everything he needs to do,” Girardi said. “Then when he plays in the game, maybe it is the intensity being turned up a little bit, some swinging and missing, it seems to bother him.”
General manager Brian Cashman also chimed in by saying that Gardner will see Dr. James Andrews early next week followed by a visit to Dr. Timothy Kremcheck.
That means the bulk of left field will go to Raul Ibanez, especially against right-handed pitching unless the Yankees add another outfielder, which Cashman said the team does not plan to do at the moment.
Without Gardner, the Yankees are 11th in the American League with 32 stolen bases in 39 attempts. Gardner had two steals at the time of his wrist injury and Alex Rodriguez currently leads the team with six.
Kuroda says he is OK
The crutches that Hiroki Kuroda was seen using late Friday night following a left foot contusion in the seventh inning were gone and it seems that he is fine.
Kuroda said that when he went on an exercise bike, his foot felt much better than Friday when Daniel Murphy’s liner hit him in the foot and deflected to third base
“I plan on making my next start,” he said through an interpreter.
Collins likes Ike
That’s not former President Dwight Eisenhower Collins meant, but rather struggling first baseman Ike Davis and his early batting practice session Saturday, which Collins called “tremendous”
So far, good rounds of batting practice have hardly translated into production in games. Davis is hitting .158 with five home runs and 21 RBI and also is 2-for-24 in his last eight games. That makes him the least productive first baseman in the majors in terms of batting average.
Though Collins felt Davis had a good round of batting practice, he is cautioning him about hearing too many different people trying to give him tips that might confuse someone in the first major slump of his career.
“He’s a very strong-willed, very confident young man,” Collins said. “Right now, I think Ike is open to hearing things. And when that happens, sometimes you’ve got to be careful because now you listen to everybody. Everybody’s got something to say and you’re listening and you’re going to try to do it.
“The next thing you know, it’s so scrambled in your head. So we’re trying to make sure that Ike, he listens, is polite, but he’s got to ultimately make the adjustments himself.”
In his first round of batting practice after the gates opened, Davis hit two home runs into the right-center field seats and two into the right field seats while hitting several other line drives.
“When you talk about numbers, they’re not very good,” Collins said. “If Ike was hitting .158 with 13 home runs we wouldn’t be having the conversation.”
Collins words sounded similar to what Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira was saying last month when his average hovered in the .220s.
Collins hoping to get Torres going
Stats show that when centerfielder Andres Torres scores at least one run, the Mets usually win games.
Torres has scored 17 of New York’s 256 runs, but when he does cross the plate, the Mets have won 11 of 15 games. The best example of Torres’s getting on base leading to wins was in May when he scored six runs during a five-game winning streak when the team scored 29 runs.
That was when Torres had a batting average over .300. Now it has dropped to .216 and Saturday he was out of the leadoff spot for his sixth consecutive start.
“We got to get him to start using the field a little more and let his speed come into play; let his legs work for him. He’s one of those guys that he got just enough power. When he slaps the ball around and gets on base, he scores. I got to get him in there because when he gets on we win baseball games.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.