Gardner allowed one run in two innings Wednesday. In Spring Training, he threw 14 scoreless innings.
On Friday, reliever Taylor Tankersley will be activated off the disabled list. The lefty has been nursing tendinitis in his shoulder. He will fill a late-inning role, perhaps even closing, depending on Julio's status.
Unfortunately for Gardner, he had options left. The Marlins don't have a bullpen pitcher who could survive waivers, with the possible exception of Julio who would probably refuse the assignment and become a free agent, but I won't go into the machinations of that again.
Back to Gardner, he did everything one could ever hope and maybe more. But he still had option years and so he was chosen to be sent down. No, it's not fair that someone who performed admirably is gone while someone who hasn't remains. But that is what the club decided to do.
If there are injuries to the late innings guys or if the team finally writes off "the experiment" all together, then Gardner should be the first one called up.