BOSTON -- Andy Pettitte will miss a turn in the Yankees rotation as a precautionary measure to the mild inflammation in his left elbow, and the veteran hurler said he was "not very happy at all" with the decision.

Pettitte exited his start Wednesday against the Orioles after just five innings and 77 pitches, complaining of stiffness near his pitching elbow, and the resulting MRI was largely regarded as positive news.

Still, the Yankees are deciding to play it safe with the 37-year-old. Pettitte will not start on Tuesday against the Tigers in Detroit, with Javier Vazquez pushed back to get that nod. Long reliever Sergio Mitre will pitch on Monday at Comerica Park.

"I understand why they're doing it," Pettitte said. "It's just hard when I feel really good and don't feel like anything's bothering me right now, and I'm being skipped."

Pettitte first felt tightness in his April 30 start against the White Sox and skipped a bullpen session before taking the mound against the Orioles on Wednesday. Treatment had helped the stiffness and Pettitte pleaded his case to stay on turn, to no avail.

"He didn't want to skip a start. He didn't," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He wanted to pitch. But we just feel like it's in the best interests of him and the whole club that we skip a start."

Pitching coach Dave Eiland said the decision was made under doctors' recommendations and that he was not surprised that Pettitte was upset by the decision. He said that it's a pitcher's nature to want the ball every turn.

"I did it when I pitched," Eiland said. "Your competitive nature says, 'I can pitch through this.' There are some things you have to pitch through. There are also things that it's just not worth taking a chance on.

"There's nothing structurally wrong [with Pettitte] -- it's a muscle thing. But if you try to push it too far -- What if you pull something? What if you strain something? That's what we're guarding against."

Pettitte said that the only effect of the stiffness was that it bothered him to throw curveballs for the first few innings, but that it eventually loosened up. His main gripe was that the Yankees seemed to have made the decision during Thursday's off-day without his input.

"I would have loved to have been able to throw -- come in and play catch or something, and see how I feel," Pettitte said.

Mitre was selected because he is stretched out enough to throw 65 to 75 pitches against the Tigers. Girardi said that one positive effect of the flip-flop is that Vazquez, a more experienced hitter, now lines up to pitch a May 21 Interleague game against the Mets.

Pettitte wishes that it all hadn't been necessary. He hoped that the MRI would not show damage to the same flexor tendon that required season-ending surgery in 2004, and when it didn't, his spirits were buoyed.

"I'll pitch with anything else," Pettitte said. "As long [it's not] my ligament where my surgery was, that was all I was concerned about. ... I knew I hadn't injured anything like that, because I knew what that feels like."

Posada still out, hopes to return Saturday

BOSTON -- Jorge Posada tested his strained right calf by taking early batting practice and some light jogging on Friday, but it wasn't enough for manager Joe Girardi to put his name in the lineup.

One more day of precautionary rest may be enough for Posada, who is hoping that he'll be catching CC Sabathia in the second game of the series on Saturday.

"To tell you the truth, once it gets loose, it's fine," Posada said. "It's one of those things that's got to get heated up and warmed up to get the calf ready to play."

Posada is considered available to pinch-hit on Friday. He chuckled when asked about the so-called "Sports Illustrated" jinx -- since appearing on the magazine's May 3 cover, Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera have all suffered injuries.

The only holdout is Derek Jeter, and a group of Yankees fans at the Saddle Brook, N.J., factory where Bubble Wrap is produced did their part by sending Jeter a shipment of the protective packaging gratis for the Red Sox series.

"We're getting younger by the minute," Posada said. "It happens. It's a long season. We'll be careful about it like we are and get us ready where we're 100 percent."

Girardi said that Rivera, who missed three save opportunities against the Orioles with tightness in his left side, is available for the Red Sox series.

Sanchez joins Yanks' bullpen in Fenway

BOSTON -- The Yankees moved to summon some additional help for their bullpen on Friday, recalling right-hander Romulo Sanchez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and sending down outfielder Greg Golson.

Sanchez, 26, was 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA in five starts at Triple-A. He was acquired last season from the Pirates in exchange for Minor League right-hander Eric Hacker.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for me," Sanchez said.

Sanchez ranked third on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster with 22 strikeouts in 25 innings. He had allowed 27 hits and 19 runs (18 earned), walking 14 and allowing three homers.

"In the beginning, I was a little bit lost and all over the place, but now I'm back to normal," Sanchez said. "I tried to concentrate more on my command and throw more strikes. Everywhere you go, you've got to do the same things."

Worth noting

Chan Ho Park (strained right hamstring) threw 45 pitches in a bullpen session in Tampa, Fla., and will throw another on Sunday. ... Friday marked the 107th anniversary of the first meeting between the Yankees and Red Sox. Known at the time as the Highlanders and Americans, Boston won, 6-2, in a game that lasted 1 hour and 38 minutes.