Notes: Giambi receives treatment
Yankees expect slugger to rejoin lineup for Seattle series
NEW YORK -- With a little tape and a little padding, Jason Giambi's barking left foot should be good to go for this weekend's series in Seattle and beyond.
A bone spur in the heel of the slugger's foot kept Giambi out of the lineup on Thursday for the second straight game. But a visit to a foot specialist in Manhattan earlier in the day convinced Giambi and the Yankees that he won't have to be placed on the disabled list.
In fact, Giambi was told that he likely won't need surgery in the offseason, either.
"He showed me a tape job I can use because I have high arches, and he got me some new orthotics and basically showed me a few exercises, trying to help me out," said Giambi, also dealing with pain in the foot associated with plantar fasciitis. "They did the tape job today, and it made a huge difference in the way my foot felt. I'm really optimistic."
Giambi arrived at Yankee Stadium late because of the appointment, so he didn't get a chance to hit in batting practice, yet he said that he felt fine taking some dry swings before the game.
Giambi and Yankees manager Joe Torre also don't foresee a problem with Giambi playing first base, a possible destination for the 36-year-old during next weekend's Subway Series against the Mets at Shea Stadium, where National League rules will be in effect and the Yankees will be without the use of a designated hitter.
"It's something obviously he's been dealing with for about a week, and he's been able to play; he was available to us last night," Torre, who pulled Giambi in the sixth inning on Tuesday and hasn't played him since. "But, again, we don't want him to be uncomfortable the rest of the year."
That means that Giambi might play sparingly at first base over the next week before the Subway Series, which is about when Giambi should get his new orthotics.
Litany of lineups: The Yankees went with Bobby Abreu in the No. 2 slot and Derek Jeter batting third for the second straight game on Thursday, and the lineup could stay that way for the foreseeable future.
With Giambi out temporarily, the Yankees have been able to shuffle their DH slot around, with Hideki Matsui there on Thursday and Johnny Damon on Wednesday.
With Matsui entering Thursday's contest with seven hits in his last 22 at-bats, Torre is also considering keeping Matsui hitting fifth.
But a lot of the moves hinge on Abreu, who seems to be coming around, having notched 10 hits in his last 31 at-bats, but still has room to improve.
"Bobby's having good at-bats," Torre said of Abreu, who entered Thursday hitting .258 with just one home run. "He's having some at-bats where he gets a little anxious, so I'd like to see him get a little more comfortable. Sometimes when you're in a situation where you're fighting yourself a little bit, you try to make sure you hit a fly ball and probably think about it too much. I get a sense Bobby may be going through that."
Rocket time: Don't ask Torre when the Yankees will see Roger Clemens on the mound for them, because he doesn't know.
He does know that Clemens will make his first start for Class A Tampa, then move up the chain after that, needing three or four starts before joining the Yankees. Torre doesn't yet know whether Clemens could make his first start in Boston when the Yankees play at Fenway for a three-game series from June 1-3.
"Wherever it falls, it's going to fall," Torre said. "Once he gets his first start, you could probably, in your head, count out five [days] and five [days] between three rehab starts, and the fourth one will be wherever it is. I haven't looked at it, only because I want to wait to see his first [start]. Then I'll count, like everyone else."
Coming up: The Yankees will begin a three-game series in Seattle on Friday at 10:05 p.m. ET, opening with right-hander Darrell Rasner (1-1, 2.75 ERA). The Mariners will counter with lefty Jarrod Washburn (2-3, 3.18 ERA).
Peter Zellen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.