External factors cloud Pettitte's return
Minor League playoff schedule likely to affect Yanks' decision
ARLINGTON -- The Yankees were encouraged by Andy Pettitte's sharp rehab outing on Thursday at Double-A Trenton and are now plotting when and where they can have the veteran lefty make a final appearance before returning.
Pettitte hurled four scoreless innings in Trenton's 1-0 victory over New Hampshire, firing 51 pitches and scattering two hits while striking out four and throwing a pair of wild pitches.
The Yankees want to keep Pettitte on regular rest for his next effort, which would target him for Tuesday, but the scheduling is uncertain.
Trenton leads, 2-0, in its best-of-five series and could have Pettitte back if it advances to the next round of the playoffs. Class A Tampa would be playing Game 5, if needed, for the Florida State League title against Charlotte.
"Our hope for Andy is that both of the Minor League teams are still in it and he can make one more rehab start for us," Girardi said. "We're hoping the schedule cooperates."
If it doesn't, Girardi's contingency plan would involve a decision between burning Pettitte's five innings and 80 pitches in a simulated game, or having him take the mound on Tuesday against the Rays at Tropicana Field in place of scheduled starter Ivan Nova.
Girardi said that his inclination would be to lean toward the simulated game, but the manager noted that could change as the week continues.
'Not concerned,' Posada doesn't start
ARLINGTON -- Jorge Posada was available only to pinch-hit for the Yankees in their 6-5 loss to the Rangers in 13 innings on Friday, two days after the veteran catcher said he suffered what was believed to be a mild and slight concussion.
Posada did indeed enter the game as a pinch-hitter, lining out with runners on the corners and one out in the 13th inning.
Posada said that he felt "foggy" after being clipped in the mask by a couple of foul tips during Tuesday's game against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, and he was sent to a New York hospital on Wednesday for tests after he reported for a matinee game with a persistent headache.
"I felt weird," Posada said. "I didn't sleep a whole lot on Tuesday night for the Wednesday day game. Other than that, I didn't experience anything different than a normal headache."
The Yankees sent word on Wednesday that Posada was cleared for competitive play by a neurology specialist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, but Posada said that he was told by head athletic trainer Gene Monahan that the catcher had likely suffered a slight concussion.
Posada believes that he has suffered three previous concussions, the last of which came in September 2007 in a home-plate collision with Eric Hinske, then playing for the Red Sox.
"I've had them before," Posada said. "It's not like I haven't experienced them before. You get the headaches, you get a little foggy and stuff, but I don't think I felt like that this time. I'm not concerned."
Posada said he felt fine during the Yankees' flight to Texas and wanted to be in the starting lineup on Friday, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi is taking the cautious route, mindful of how concussions have affected Major Leaguers like the Mets' Jason Bay and the Twins' Justin Morneau this year.
"He's available for us today as a pinch-hitter," Girardi said before Friday's game. "Our fear is if he takes another foul tip. You've seen what has happened to some of these guys who have recently gotten concussions, how long it has taken to come back."
Posada could be available to catch on Sunday and will not make any changes to his equipment behind the plate.
"It all depends where they hit you," Posada said. "If they hit you in the right spot, obviously you're going to feel it. It's part of being back there. You're going to get hit, so this is serious stuff."
Hughes makes pit stop in bullpen
ARLINGTON -- For at least one night, Phil Hughes was back in the Yankees' bullpen.
Hughes trudged out to take in Friday's 13-inning, 6-5 loss to the Rangers with the relievers, looking to throw one inning if needed to remain sharp after New York skipped his start in this series.
Hughes got that wish, entering in the ninth inning of a tied game. And just as he did so many times in helping New York out of the bullpen last year, Hughes recorded three outs, using 11 pitches to send the game to extra innings.
"I was just hoping to get in whenever," Hughes said. "I'd rather get into a game than throw a side [session] tomorrow. I was fine with it, and in the ninth inning of a tied game, you just throw strikes and it'll be all right."
With an eye toward Hughes' innings limitations, the Yankees are starting Dustin Moseley on Sunday instead of Hughes, who has been pushed back to Wednesday against the Rays in St. Petersburg. Hughes said he thought the appearance would help him be sharper.
"He threw the ball good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think it's good that he saw hitters, where he doesn't go 10 days without seeing them."
The Yankees were 19-8 in their past 27 games against left-handed starters heading into Friday's meeting with the Texas Rangers' C.J. Wilson. ... Yankees relievers have combined for a 1.50 ERA and a .182 opponents' batting average since July 26. ... The Yankees have the only teammates in the Majors to have collected at least 90 runs scored and 90 RBIs -- Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.