SARASOTA, Fla. -- Joba Chamberlain says he has never felt more ready for Opening Day to arrive.

Returning after missing 11 days with a strained left oblique, the Yankees right-hander served up a solo homer to J.J. Hardy in one inning of work on Tuesday but was more impressed by the 95-mph fastballs he fired.

"This is the best I've felt in Spring Training," Chamberlain said. "My numbers have correlated, and [as far as] my velocity, usually I'm about halfway through the season when I'm throwing this hard. That's always a plus."

Chamberlain had not appeared in a game since March 11 against the Braves. He said that holding his hands lower, as he did in 2007, has helped his mechanics.

"You've got to make adjustments when you're in this league for a long time," Chamberlain said. "I learned that the hard way when I got beat around a little bit.

"I've had success here, but you have to be able to make adjustments. These guys are too good in this league to not make those."

Mitre confident Yanks will find him a spot

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It never entered Sergio Mitre's mind that he might not break camp on the big league roster, but the Yankees aren't ready to make that call yet.

With the club still looking to whittle down a cast of four contenders for three spots, Mitre picked a bad time to turn in a rough outing, serving up five runs over three innings in Tuesday's 6-2 loss to the Orioles.

"I'm hoping they don't base everything off of one spring start," Mitre said. "If that's the case, then we'll see what happens, but I don't think that's the case -- at least toward me. They know I can get people out and they know they can rely on me, I hope."

Mitre was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in five Grapefruit League appearances (two starts) for New York coming into Tuesday's outing, but he limped out with a 5.73 ERA, serving up homers to Jake Fox and Luke Scott.

Asked if Mitre was considered to already be on the team, whether as a starter or reliever, manager Joe Girardi replied: "There are still decisions to be made there."

"Before today, he'd thrown the ball pretty well," Girardi continued. "We have a pretty good understanding of what Serge can do. He was missing with his sinker down today, and that's an important pitch for him."

Mitre has been in a long-man and spot-starter role for the Yankees over the past two seasons, and the right-hander believes his roster spot is secure, despite the crunch alongside Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Ivan Nova.

"I mean, I hope so," Mitre said. "I don't think there should be any reason why not. If I still have to worry about that, then I'm probably not doing something right.

"I think I've done enough and I've seen enough to where they know that I can get the job done. That's just one thing that never even crossed my mind, whether I'm making the team or not."

Embattled Perez doesn't intrigue Yanks

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Oliver Perez won't be switching boroughs any time soon.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he has no interest in Perez, the free-agent left-hander cut loose on Monday by the Mets, who must now absorb the remaining $12 million on Perez's contract.

"Based on what we've seen thus far, it's not something that makes sense," Cashman said.

On some level, Cashman said the Yankees did investigate the idea of adding Perez, who had an 8.38 ERA in 9 2/3 Grapefruit League innings for the Mets.

"I was asked above me to look into it, and we always look at everything," Cashman said.

"It's not something that right now makes much sense for us, based on everything we've seen, but like all of these players, it doesn't mean he can't find his way back over time."

Marte hopes to return to hill by July

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees left-hander Damaso Marte has joined the team and hopes to return to action around the All-Star break.

The 36-year-old Marte is recovering from left labrum surgery performed in October and has been limited to stretching exercises with a tube. He plans to begin playing catch soon.

"I feel good," Marte said. "I think I can pitch this season."

Marte said that doctors have told him that he could be ready in mid-July. The left-hander made 30 appearances for New York last year, but none after July 7, and posted a 4.08 ERA overall.

The Yankees signed free agent lefty Pedro Feliciano over the offseason to replace Marte, and they also have Boone Logan as a left-handed option. Marte said that sitting out has been difficult.

"It's hard because you don't do anything," Marte said. "You just wait and work on your arm. It's very hard. Right now, everything is coming good. I feel ready."

Bombers bits

Right-hander Rafael Soriano allowed a solo home run in 1 2/3 innings against Blue Jays Minor Leaguers on Tuesday. Soriano prefers not to face division rivals in Grapefruit League competition, so he was allowed to skip the Yankees' trip to Sarasota, Fla., to face the Orioles. ... Greg Golson singled in his first at-bat on Tuesday. It was his first game action since he suffered a right intercostal strain on March 7, also in Sarasota. ... Right-hander A.J. Burnett will pitch in a Minor League game in Tampa,. Fla., on Wednesday. ... Hall of Famer Yogi Berra left camp for his New Jersey home on Tuesday.