SEATTLE -- There was good news on the injury front from the Yankees clubhouse Tuesday at Safeco Field.
After missing the past four games, catcher Russell Martin was healthy enough to get the start on Tuesday with A.J. Burnett on the mound. Nick Swisher, who played at first base on Monday after missing the previous three games, was back in right field for the first time since last Thursday.
"It's good to see," manager Joe Girardi said of the healing process. "It seems like all the injuries came at once. We could have two of them back, possibly tonight, and maybe the third, Alex, when we get to Toronto."
Rodriguez was out of the lineup for his fourth consecutive game and is still dealing with a sore left thumb. His original timetable for return was Wednesday, but now, a more realistic comeback seems like Friday's series opener at Toronto.
Martin returned after missing the past two games with a bruised right thumb suffered on a foul ball behind the plate Saturday against the Angels. Jesus Montero, who started at designated hitter on Tuesday, made his first Major League start behind the plate on Sunday, while rookie Austin Romine also made his first big league start at catcher during Monday's 9-1 win over Seattle.
Swisher was experiencing some mild tendinitis in his left elbow after last Thursday's 5-4 loss at Baltimore and sat out the entire Angles series. He was at first base on Monday, but Girardi kept him out of the outfield to prevent any potential long throws.
But on Tuesday, Swisher returned to his normal spot in the outfield. He says he enjoyed his time at first base.
"I love first base," Swisher said. "Not much running going on."
Girardi said that the irritation in Swisher's elbow is going away and it shouldn't be a concern looking ahead.
"It's the ones that irritate you a lot that you get worried about," Girardi said. "There are a lot of guys that are probably playing with tendinitis in the arm right now. It's just when it becomes too painful where you can't do the things you need to do."
The Yankees are still waiting on catcher Francisco Cervelli, who is in New York resting because of lingering concussion symptoms. On Tuesday, Cervelli was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Sept. 9. It's unclear as to whether he'll return this season.
"It's really hard to predict what's going to happen because concussions today have become unpredictable, where sometimes you think you're getting a guy back, then he plays one game and he goes right back to the symptoms," Girardi said.
Chris Dickerson, who hit a home run off Felix Hernandez with a swollen right thumb suffered on a steal attempt, had his thumb taped up on Tuesday and did not take batting practice. Dickerson said the swelling was down, but he underwent X-rays to determine the damage and was awaiting the results.
Dickerson makes most of rare start
SEATTLE -- When you haven't seen a Major League pitch in nearly two weeks, it may be a little daunting to be asked to make your first start in over a month against the defending American League Cy Young winner.
But that's exactly what Chris Dickerson had to do Monday against the Mariners, and he didn't exactly appear rusty. The left fielder blasted a two-run homer off of King Felix in the sixth inning of New York's big 9-1 win.
"He made us look really smart is what he did," manager Joe Girardi said on Monday. "I don't know if he's had an at-bat since he's been here -- he's used to that. He's been a guy that has come off the bench and gotten spot starts. He was prepared for it."
Becoming better at coming in on short notice has been a work in progress, and Dickerson has had to adjust to becoming a defensive specialist and pinch-hitter this season. The California native, who has seen little playing time in 49 games with the Yankees, made his Major League debut on Aug. 12, 2008, with the Reds and enjoyed consistent playing time in 2009, receiving 255 at-bats.
But then Dickerson was traded to Milwaukee midway through the 2010 season. He struggled there, batting .208 in just 25 games with the Brewers.
"I didn't have regular at-bats. I would go three days and have to face a guy like Halladay," Dickerson recalled.
But the outfielder took what he could from the 2010 season and used his experience the help him this year with New York.
"It's one of those things you learn over the season," Dickerson said. "It's just trying to find ways to really pay attention and keeping up on pitchers you might face and getting a game plan for every pitcher, just in case. You have to prepare yourself for the just-in-case scenario."
He's also worked closely with hitting coach Kevin Long on finding a way not to worry about so much when Dickerson does get the call. Instead of worrying about playing time or how he hasn't seen Major League pitchers much, Dickerson has adopted a "nothing to lose" attitude this season.
It's something that helped him yesterday against Hernandez.
"What are they going to expect? Seriously, what are they going to expect?" Dickerson said of Monday's game. "I haven't had an at-bat in two weeks and I was going against King Felix. I had absolutely nothing to lose."
Along with that attitude, Dickerson has been trying to keep things as simple as possible.
"It's tough enough to go pinch-hit when you don't have regular at-bats, so what's the point of worrying about it?" he said. "Just simplifying everything, that's been the biggest thing. As complicated and crazy and chaotic as the approach of just playing baseball is, when you get the opportunity, just simplifying it is the biggest key."
Dickerson now finds himself making an impact on a New York team poised to win the American League East, saying that the experience is "the coolest thing ever."
With lefty Charlie Furbush on the mound Tuesday, Curtis Granderson received a routine day off.
Derek Jeter is the owner of a season-high 12-game hitting streak after his first-inning single Tuesday. It marked his 43rd career hitting streak of at least 10 games, a franchise record.
To support the rescue and relief efforts associated with Hurricane Irene, the Yankees announced Tuesday that they will donate $100,000, with $50,000 of the donation going to Salvation Army and $50,000 to the Red Cross.
In addition, the Yankees organization will make an additional donation of $25,000 to support the rescue and relief efforts with the Texas wildfires, with $12,500 going to Salvation Army and $12,500 going to Red Cross.
The news just keeps on getting better for young Dante Bichette Jr., who was named the Gulf Coast League Most Valuable Player on Tuesday. Bichette Jr., the Yankees' 2011 first-round Draft pick, hit .342 and led the league with 47 RBIs, 67 hits and 17 doubles. He also made the 11-man Gulf Coast League All-Star Team.
Taylor Soper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.