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Yankees activate Gardner, Aardsma from DL

09/25/2012 5:37 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The New York Yankees have activated outfielder Brett Gardner and pitcher David Aardsma from the 60-day disabled list, and both are listed as active for Tuesday night’s game in Minnesota.

Gardner has played in just nine games this season, and has been out of action since suffering a muscle strain and bone bruise in his right elbow in a game against the Twins at Yankee Stadium on April 17. He was twice shut down from rehab assignments over the summer, and underwent surgery on that elbow to remove inflamed tissue and a bone spur on July 24 that was expected to keep him out for the remainder of the year; however, the Yankees hope to be able to use Gardner as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement over the season’s final nine days.

Aardsma, 30, was signed by the Yankees to a two-year deal last winter, but hasn’t thrown a Major League pitch since 2010. After saving 69 games for Seattle in 2009 and 2010, he began 2011 on the disabled list with a hip injury, and then underwent Tommy John surgery last July.

The righty returned in June, pitching five innings for the GCL Yankees before suffering a setback, and his second rehab assignment began in late-August, with Aardsma pitching one game for both the Staten Island and Tampa Yankees before joining Trenton for their run to the Eastern League Championship Series.

The Yankees had Tweeted a photo earlier Tuesday of Aardsma’s No. 35 jersey hanging in a locker at Target Field, and it is somewhat ironically fitting that he was activated for his first Yankees action 38 years to the day that Dr. Frank Jobe performed the first elbow ligament replacement surgery on then-Dodgers hurler Tommy John.

To make room for Gardner and Aardsma on the roster, the Yankees have designated both 1B/OF Steve Pearce and LHP Justin Thomas for assignment.

Pearce had two stints in the Yankees organization this year; he hitting .318 in 53 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before being traded to Baltimore on June 2, then was re-acquired (this time from Houston) on August 27 and hit .169 in 25 at-bats with the Yankees.

Thomas, 28, was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox on May 12. He went 2-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 30 games at Triple-A, and had pitched three innings over four appearances for the Yankees since being recalled on Sept. 1.

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