Hiroki Kuroda said his left foot felt "much better" yesterday at Yankee Stadium, while Brett Gardner, stationed in Charleston, S.C., told his bosses his right elbow was worse.

And with that confluence of events, the Yankees' game plan seems likely to change. Suddenly, as teams head toward the period of serious trade discussions, this team might have to prioritize an outfield upgrade over one for its starting rotation.

Gardner couldn't even make it through a full game Friday night with Single-A Charleston, leaving in the top of the sixth inning. He'll see noted orthopedists James Andrews and Tim Kremchek this coming week, and it's natural for baseball fans to anticipate the worst when Andrews' name in particular is mentioned.