Howard To The DL; Gardner Activated

(Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced that INF Kevin Howard has been placed on the Disabled List with a broken finger on his right hand. OF Brett Gardner has been activated from the Disabled List and OF Matt Carson has been transferred back to the Thunder from the roster of the Tampa Yankees (High A-Florida State League).

Howard was batting .255 in 102 games with eight home runs and 42 RBI for the Thunder. He had tied a season-high eight game hitting streak when the injury occurred on August 9th. During his recent hitting streak, Howard was 13-for-29 with five runs scored and three RBI.

Howard was acquired with OF Ben Himes from Cincinnati for INF Tony Womack on December 8th, 2005. He was the 19th rated prospect in the Yankees Minor League System according to Baseball America. Howard won the Arizona Fall League batting title in 2005 with a .409 average. In 2005, Howard hit .296 with 12 home runs and 70 RBI for Chattanooga (AA-Southern League). He was originally drafted by the Reds in the fifth round of the 2002 Draft from the University of Miami. He led the Hurricanes in on base percentage (.452) and was second in batting average (.363) in 2002. He also played for the USA National Team in 2001.

Gardner had been on the Disabled List with an injury to his left knee. He sustained the injury on July 23rd in New Hampshire. He joined the Thunder on June 19th and was batting .279 with 6 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 31 games before his injury. Gardner last took the field for the Thunder on July 29 at home against Akron. Prior to joining the Thunder this year he was a Florida State League all-star batting .323 in 63 games with 22 RBI with the Tampa Yankees. He was third in the Florida State League in batting average and led the league in stolen bases with 30. Gardner also was second in the league in walks with 47.

Gardner is the 13th rated prospect in the Yankees Minor League system according to Baseball America and rated as the fastest runner in the Yankees minor league system. In 2005, he hit .284 with five home runs and 32 RBI in 73 games for the Staten Island Yankees (New York Penn League) helping them win the New York-Penn League championship. Gardner was selected by the Yankees in the third round of the 2005 draft from the College of Charleston. He was a third-team All American in 2005.

Carson was transferred to the roster of the Tampa Yankees on August 9th. He batted .250 in 19 games for the Thunder with five RBI. He was transferred from the Tampa Yankees to Trenton on July 14th. Carson hit .243 in 40 games with eight home runs and 21 RBI for the Tampa Yankees this season. Carson was on the Disabled List from May 25th through July 12th with a concussion. His most memorable game this season in Tampa was on April 24th when he went 4-for-4 with three home runs, five RBI and four runs against Sarasota.

Carson split time between the Thunder and Tampa during 2005. With the Thunder, he hit .192 in 28 games with one home run and five RBI. He played in 84 games with Tampa and hit .252 with 8 home runs and 39 RBI including a 13-game hitting streak. Carson was originally selected in the fifth round of the 2002 draft from Brigham Young University.

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