Notes: Proctor drops appeal
Yankees reliever will begin serving suspension immediately
SEATTLE -- Yankees reliever Scott Proctor dropped his appeal of a four-game suspension on Saturday, opting instead to begin serving his sentence immediately.
As a result, Proctor will be unavailable to the Yankees until a Thursday matinee in Chicago, but he will be reinstated in time for important series against the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox.
"We basically just don't want it hanging over," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "Let's get it over with."
"It was a concern that [the suspension] could impact a big series," Proctor said.
Proctor was penalized for his actions in a May 6 game against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium in which the right-hander threw behind Seattle infielder Yuniesky Betancourt after both benches had been warned.
Proctor and Torre were ejected from that contest, with Torre serving a one-game suspension the following day. Proctor was also fined $1,500 and intended to appeal, hoping to shave his time down to three games.
But an appeal would have had to take place in New York, and no tentative date for an appearance had yet been set. With that in mind, Proctor said he left the decision up to Torre and general manager Brian Cashman, who informed Proctor of their opinion to have him begin sitting out Saturday.
"I really left it up to them to do what would be best for the team," Proctor said.
Proctor said he notified the players' union of his decision before the Yankees' game against the Mariners. Proctor conducted a lengthy workout session at Safeco Field, but will not be permitted to remain in any players' areas once the game begins.
Proctor is 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 20 appearances for New York this season, limiting opponents to a .203 average. He threw a career-high two innings in relief on Friday and has been not been scored upon in his last five appearances, leading him to consult with pitching coach Ron Guidry to develop a plan for maintaining his current success.
"I'm in a good routine right now," Proctor said.
Giambi back in: Jason Giambi made it back into Torre's lineup for Saturday's game, and this time, he stayed there.
Giambi, 36, was a late scratch from Friday's contest against the Mariners due to a bone spur and plantar fasciitis in his left foot, but said that the tightly wound tape job he received had stabilized the foot enough to play on it.
Giambi visited with a Manhattan-based specialist while the club was in New York and said he has been told the injury isn't likely to be a lingering issue.
"They think I should be able to get back to where I was before," Giambi said. "I didn't even know I had a spur back there. They think we should be able to do that by taking care of it, getting treatment, and taping it up a little bit."
Giambi said he has been advised to wear sneakers as much as possible, and though he will wear cleats during the game, he took batting practice in more comfortable footwear.
Giambi said he recalled Athletics infielder Eric Chavez fighting a case of plantar fasciitis by inserting spikes into the bottom of a pair of basketball shoes, but said he doesn't anticipate taking such drastic measures -- instead, Giambi will soon receive a custom-made pair of orthotic inserts to help cushion his feet.
Rasner in relief: Torre indicated that regardless of how rookie Matt DeSalvo fares in his start Saturday against the Mariners, he will receive a third big-league start on Thursday against the White Sox in Chicago.
That move, with the Yankees' upcoming off-day on Monday and associated rotation shuffle, moves Darrell Rasner back to the role of long reliever. Torre said that Rasner may be better equipped than DeSalvo to handle the change, given his previous experience.
One more on the skids: Add Hideki Matsui's name to the growing list of Yankees hitters -- Bobby Abreu, Robinson Cano -- trying to work their way out of funks. Matsui was 0-for-4 in the Yankees' loss to the Mariners on Friday and has one hit in his last 11 at-bats.
"Right now, he seems to be on his heels a little bit, coming off the ball," Torre said. "I don't know what the reason is. There's nothing physically wrong. I think a lot of guys are trying to hit the ball too hard."
Torre said he spoke with Abreu on Friday and, if he struggles again Saturday, might receive a day off in the series finale against left-hander Horacio Ramirez. Cano has dropped to the No. 9 spot in the lineup, with the idea being that leadoff hitter Johnny Damon could provide some additional protection.
Pavano on hold: Carl Pavano's ongoing tour of medical offices has apparently come to an end at four, with Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim team physician Lewis Yocum contributing the final word.
Pavano, who claims he has a torn ligament in his pitching elbow and needs reconstructive Tommy John surgery, has returned to New York. The Yankees are doing their due diligence and compiling all paperwork at this point before deciding how to proceed, Cashman said in a telephone interview.
"Carl talked to all the doctors and is back here in New York," Cashman said. "When all the written evaluations come in, we'll all sit down and go over them."
Rocket watch: Cashman said that the Yankees have reached a tentative date for Roger Clemens' first Minor League appearance, but that the team is likely to hold off on announcing it until after Sunday's series finale with the Mariners.
Clemens, 44, has been working out at the University of Kentucky campus and is expected to report to Class A Tampa on Monday. Clemens will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday and will likely pitch his first game for the Tampa Yankees over the weekend, as the Fort Myers Miracle are in town from May 17-20.
Decision day for Villone: Left-handed reliever Ron Villone has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt for free agency if he is not added to the Yankees' Major League roster by Tuesday.
Villone, 37, was a non-roster invitee to the Yankees' Spring Training but did not make the club, and shortly thereafter accepted a contract assigning him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Bergen County, N.J., native is 0-1 with a 1.96 ERA in 16 appearances for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, allowing 21 hits while striking out 26 and walking 10 in 23 innings.
Villone missed out on a chance to be the Yankees' second left-hander behind Mike Myers with a rocky spring, but Sean Henn -- who won the job -- has been shaky of late. The 27-year-old Henn has a 5.19 ERA in 16 appearances and surrendered a grand slam to Texas' Victor Diaz in his last effort Thursday.
Coming up: The Yankees play the third and final game of their weekend series with the Mariners on Sunday at Safeco Field, sending left-hander Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.72 ERA) to the mound. Ramirez (2-2, 7.62 ERA) counters for Seattle, with first pitch at 4:05 p.m. ET on the YES Network.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.