Notes: Jeter returns; Matsui as DH
Yankees shortstop 'fine;' outfielder's right knee 'barking'
DETROIT -- The fight was back in Derek Jeter's voice on Monday, a good sign for a Yankees club looking to salvage a split before opening up a key three-game series with the Red Sox.
Having rested in Sunday's matinee to ward off a right knee bruise that was limiting his mobility, Jeter was approached on Monday by manager Joe Torre, who dangled the possibility of spending another game out of the lineup.
"No chance," Jeter's response shot back.
While Jeter said he was "fine" and "good to go," dismissing the idea that any physical maladies were responsible for the 1-for-13 slide he carried into Monday's game, Torre quickly found other injury issues to attend to.
Torre said he called in Hideki Matsui to see how the outfielder's body felt, and Matsui -- who has been spotted wearing ice packs on both knees regularly after games -- admitted that his right knee is "barking," to go along with a left knee that has chronically been painful.
"I had visions yesterday of getting him out of the outfield," Torre said.
Accordingly, Matsui served as the Yankees' designated hitter on Monday for the third time in New York's past five games. Johnny Damon assumed Matsui's position in left field and Jason Giambi played his third game at first base since coming off the disabled list.
Similar maneuvers could be on the way, as Torre said he would "probably" look for more opportunities to offer Matsui time to rest, even though the discomfort doesn't seem to be hindering his production. Matsui entered Monday with nine hits in his last 17 at-bats and 34 RBIs in his last 34 games.
"I think just the pounding out there, day in and day out, is just something that he's been dealing with," Torre said. "That's the advantage of this league. Any time we can get him out of the lineup, it will help."
Firing clean: Kyle Farnsworth's mid-summer troubles appear to have been left behind. The hard-throwing reliever has gone seven appearances without allowing a run, limiting opponents to one hit, two walks and striking out eight in seven innings.
"I'm just being more aggressive, relaxing and not fighting my body," Farnsworth said. "That's the main thing I've done. It's staying back longer on my backside and not flying open with my left shoulder. That's going to make you stay relaxed and stay closed longer."
The turnaround is a welcome change for Farnsworth, who had been negatively received before and during his home appearances at Yankee Stadium. While on the road, Farnsworth has pitched three times and come away scorelessly each time, so perhaps he can expect a different reaction when the team returns home on Tuesday.
"Sometimes, the outcome isn't what you want," Farnsworth said. "I've just tried to go out there and have fun lately. I have fun all the time, but it's more fun when things have gone well. It's a game of adjustment. It's not like you can go out there and be perfect every time."
Prove it all night: Mike Mussina's 247 career victories serve as evidence that he has compiled enough veteran experience to handle life in the Major Leagues. With speculation circling that the Yankees might begin to look elsewhere for rotation help if he faltered on Monday, Mussina's response was to quip, "Who are they going to replace me with?"
While Mussina clearly had frustration with his two previous outings, losing to Detroit and the Angels, Torre seemed to dismiss the idea that the Yankees would jettison Mussina from his next turn if he faltered again.
"I think if he struggles, and really has trouble locating the ball, we have to talk about what's going to help him," Torre said. "As far as I'm concerned, he certainly has proven he deserves to be in the rotation. He has struggled of late, but we're going to do what's best for him. What's best for him is going to be best for the ballclub."
Radar love: Torre said that he had no issues with the velocity shown on Sunday by right-hander Phil Hughes. Television broadcasts clocked Hughes, who allowed five runs in six innings of New York's 5-4 loss, as throwing no higher than the low 90s, though Torre said he saw better readings on the in-stadium scoreboards and was unconcerned.
"Not at all," Torre said. "I thought toward the end, he was throwing better than in the beginning."
In five starts since returning from an extended disabled list stint to rehab a strained left hamstring and a sprained left ankle, Hughes has posted a 1-1 record and 6.11 ERA over five starts. Torre suggested that Hughes might still be regaining arm strength from the two months of big league action that he missed, but also reversed thought by considering that Hughes may have been running out of gas by this point in the season if he hadn't been injured in a May 1 start at Texas.
Arizona Fall League rosters announced: The Yankees will be sending seven players to represent the organization with the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League, it was announced on Monday.
Playing for manager Tony Franklin -- also the skipper of New York's Double-A Trenton club -- will be right-handers Steven Jackson, Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Whelan and Steven White, plus switch-hitting infielder Reggie Corona, first baseman Juan Miranda and outfielder Brett Gardner.
Bombers bits: Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens, the projected first two starters of the Red Sox series, flew ahead to New York on Monday. ... Trenton clinched its second consecutive Eastern League Northern Division title and its third straight postseason berth on Sunday. ... Rehabbing first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz is set to join Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday.
Coming up: The Yankees open a three-game midweek series with the Red Sox on Tuesday, sending Pettitte (11-7, 3.69 ERA) to the mound opposite right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-10, 3.76 ERA). First pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. ET and will be televised on My9.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.