Gardner to play in Tampa, not vs. Tampa

Hard to believe that Brett Gardner has played just nine games all season, but that could change within a week if all goes well over the next few days.

Gardner is scheduled to play five innings of an extended spring training game Tuesday in Tampa, and if that goes well, will move up the ladder with an eye toward a return next week, perhaps for the starts of the series against the Braves in Atlanta on June 11. (There is an outside chance Gardner could play Sunday against the Mets, but I wouldn't go on StubHub just yet.)

In case you've forgotten, and I'm sure you have, Gardner was off to a pretty good start before being sidelined with a right elbow strain originally suffered while diving for a ball on April 17 at Yankee Stadium. To that point, Gardner was hitting .321 with a .424 on-base percentage. And despite the team stealing five bases against the Tigers in Saturday's 4-3 loss, their team leader in stolen bases continues to be Alex Rodriguez with six.