Pope Activated; Gardner Goes On DL

(Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced RHP Justin Pope has been activated from the Disabled List. Pope had been on the Disabled List, retroactive to July 24th, with right shoulder soreness. He takes the roster spot of OF Brett Gardner, who was placed on the Disabled List, retroactive to August 3rd, with an injury to his left knee.

Pope is 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 31 games for the Thunder, including 20 saves. He started the 2006 season with Columbus and appeared in eight games with a 0-1 record and a 7.30 ERA.

Pope, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals organization along with LHP Ben Julianel for LHP Sterling Hitchcock (8/22/03), set the Trenton single-season record for saves with 29 last year. Pope's 29 saves last year placed him second in the Eastern League. He tied Erie's Edwin Almonte for the "Rolaids Relief Man of the Year" award in the Eastern League. Pope was 29-34 in save opportunities in helping the Thunder to their first playoff appearance since 1999. In 2004, Pope split time as a starter and reliever for Trenton, going 4-3 with a 4.21 ERA, including a 1-hit shutout of Norwich (7/30/04).

Pope was originally selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round (28th overall) of the 2001 draft. Pope was a 1st-Team All-American at University of Central Florida, where he holds nine single-season or career records.

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