Gardner could make spring debut Wednesday

Yankees outfielder tests wrist during simulated game

March 13th, 2016
Joe Girardi believes Brett Gardner should have enough time to get ready for Opening Day. (AP)

TAMPA, Fla. -- Brett Gardner tested his left wrist on Sunday by taking nine at-bats in a simulated game, and the Yankees outfielder expects to make his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday against the Blue Jays.

Gardner has been behind the rest of the Yankees' position players this spring because of a deep bone bruise, sustained while crashing into the outfield wall making a catch in the American League Wild Card Game against the Astros.

"Felt good. I was excited about the way it felt," Gardner said. "I saw a lot of pitches, got a lot of swings in and go from there. I'm excited to get back out there and face some velocity."

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At the Yankees' urging, Gardner did not pick up a bat until February due to the lingering discomfort. Yankees manager Joe Girardi believes that Gardner still should have enough time to be ready for action on Opening Day.

Gardner has been hitting off machines and coaches in the batting cage, but he said it was a significant step to face live pitching, doing so on a back diamond of the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex.

"When you take normal BP and when you hit in the cage, everything is very controlled," Gardner said. "You don't swing and miss, really. You don't foul balls off. As much as you try to do things at 100 percent, it's hard to really turn it up until you actually get in a game situation like this."

Unexpected visit

Aroldis Chapman was confused to see Girardi and trainer Gene Monahan coming to the mound during his seventh-inning appearance in Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Phillies. Girardi said he thought that he saw Chapman hesitate after delivering a pitch.

Chapman put any fears to rest by uncorking a fastball that registered 100 mph on the stadium radar gun. It was the second spring appearance for Chapman, who struck out three around a walk.

"I felt very good. I felt the same physically and mentally," Chapman said through an interpreter. "I felt fine. ... I think maybe when I landed, I didn't land correctly. Maybe they saw something and they just wanted to confirm that I was OK."

Feeling good

Michael Pineda said on Sunday that "everything is working perfect" for him this spring, obviously pleased by firing three scoreless, one-hit innings at the Phillies. Pineda struck out four with a walk in his second outing of the spring, and he has not permitted a run in five innings.

"Everything is great right now. I'm feeling great," Pineda said. "My body is feeling good, so everything is good. My slider is working great. I'm practicing the two-seamer and it's working good, too. It helps my fastball a little bit."

Worth noting

• Brian McCann exited after two innings due to a bruise on the inside of his left knee, having been clipped by a CC Sabathia pitch that first hit Ryan Howard. McCann said the knee stiffened while he was on the bench, but he would have stayed in had it been a regular-season game.