SEATTLE -- The Yankees would prefer to have Ichiro Suzuki patrolling Yankee Stadium's large left field rather than move Nick Swisher to a new position, Yankees manager Joe Girardi explained on Tuesday.
After being acquired from the Mariners on Monday, Ichiro was told that the plan is for him to be playing mostly left field once Swisher returns from a strained hip flexor, an assignment Ichiro accepted.
"I think with the way our ballpark is, it just makes sense to put him in left and keep Swish in right," Girardi said.
Ichiro has played left field just once in his big league career, in Game 5 of the 2001 American League Championship Series against the Yankees, but Girardi said he doesn't expect the transition to be difficult.
"We're just going to throw him out there," Girardi said. "He's athletic enough. I know it's been a long time since he's done it, but the best experience he's going to get is just going out there. I'm sure the days he's playing left field, he'll take his [batting practice] work out there."
Ichiro batted eighth in New York's lineup for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, marking the second time he has hit lower than third in a Major League lineup. Girardi said Ichiro has been fine with the idea of hitting lower in the order.
"It's something that he understood in coming over here," Girardi said. "I don't think this was his only choice, so by coming over here, I think that he accepted it and he just wants to play."
Gardner undergoes surgery on right elbow
SEATTLE -- Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Tuesday, removing inflamed tissue and a bone spur.
Team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad performed the procedure in New York, which will likely end Gardner's season.
"Everything went well," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We'll get a chance to see him when we get back [to New York] and get a better idea what we're looking at."
Gardner was limited to just nine games this season, injuring his elbow while making a diving catch against the Twins on April 17 at Yankee Stadium.
The 28-year-old suffered three setbacks on Minor League rehabilitation assignments before having the surgery. Gardner is expected to be ready for Spring Training next season.
Joba throws scoreless frame in fifth rehab game
SEATTLE -- Joba Chamberlain's latest Minor League outing produced another scoreless inning, as the right-hander retired all three batters he faced on Tuesday for the Class A Tampa Yankees.
Chamberlain induced a flyout, a popout and a groundout as he started against the Lakeland Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., marking his fifth appearance.
The Yankees continue to believe that Chamberlain -- who is returning from Tommy John surgery and an open dislocation of his right ankle -- could rejoin them when his 30-day rehab clock expires on Aug. 6. He has been clocked in the high 90's with his fastball.
"I'm hoping at some point we might see a little bit of a tape," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's going to come and throw a bullpen for us while we're on this homestand. We'll get a chance to see him there, but a bullpen is different from a game, no doubt about it."
With the addition of Ichiro Suzuki to the tandem of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees have become the first team since the 1928 Philadelphia A's to have three players with 2,500 or more hits. The A's had Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins and Tris Speaker.
The Yankees now have 39 combined Gold Glove Awards on their current roster (active and those on the disabled list). Yankees players have also combined to make 81 All-Star Game appearances.
On this date in 1983, the Yankees and Royals played the 'Pine Tar Game' at Yankee Stadium, as George Brett hit a two-out, ninth-inning home run off Goose Gossage. Yankees manager Billy Martin appealed that the pine tar on Brett's bat was above the allowable 18 inches from the handle and Brett was called out by home plate umpire Tim McClelland. The Yankees' 4-3 victory was only temporary as the American League upheld a protest, forcing an Aug. 18 completion of the game that ended in a 5-4 Royals win.