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SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Damon has been told that he will not be starting in any of the team's games this weekend at AT&T Park, one more foreboding sign that the disabled list looms likelier by the day.
Damon, 33, has been ailed recently by a strained abdominal muscle, though he was given a start Thursday at Colorado after reporting improvement.
Yankees manager Joe Torre said that late in the game, Damon wound up being slowed by yet another recurrence of the calf cramps that have slowed him at various points this season.
Torre confirmed that Damon will not start, and Torre also said he would try to stay away from using Damon altogether at least until the Yankees return to American League rules on Tuesday at Baltimore.
"We're going to play it out this weekend and just see if we can minimize the nuisance," Torre said. "We'll make a decision probably by the time we get home."
If Damon would still not be available for use as a designated hitter by the Orioles series, he said he would go on the disabled list. The assignment would be the first of his career.
"We're praying that it'll be OK [by Tuesday]," Damon said. "We'll see."
Damon said he will be able to ride a stationary bicycle to keep his legs in shape while the club is in San Francisco, though he must not take batting practice to allow his abdominal muscles days to heal.
Torre said that the disabled list has been suggested, but that "it's easy to say until you have to wait those two weeks."
Meanwhile, Damon's troubles on the field hit an even more comical note during the series in Denver. As Damon prepared to pinch-hit against the Rockies, he said that a crown fell off a tooth in his mouth.
"We had to super-glue it back in," Damon said.
Tools of the trade:
If you spot left-hander Kei Igawa handling a new toy in the Yankees' dugout, chances are he's playing with a stick. Seriously.
Minor League pitching coach Gil Patterson explained that the stick is intended to help Igawa maintain his reconstructed pitching motion, helping him practice his balanced effort in the dugout between innings.
"All it does is re-create the muscle memory so you can repeat, repeat, repeat, without any wear and tear on the arm," Patterson said.
The new instrument was part of Igawa's training sessions through his six-start Minor League experience, including his four efforts at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in which he went 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA.
Triple-A pitching coach Dave Eiland sent word that Igawa had worked with the stick, and it has helped him maintain his balance, which the Yankees hope to take advantage of as he returned to the rotation Friday night.
Patterson -- who said he joined the Yankees in San Francisco mostly to give Igawa another familiar face in the clubhouse -- is so confident that the Minor League tweaks will work, he's already looking ahead to the lefty's successful resurgence.
"I told him next year, I want a gold stick," Patterson said.
Henn back to the farm:
Left-hander Sean Henn, who appeared in just one game on his recent recall, was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday to create room for Igawa on the 25-man roster.
Henn was slotted as the Yankees' long man in case of an emergency game, but his role turned out to be superfluous. The third lefty on a 13-man pitching staff, Henn said he was told to stay aggressive and remain confident in his stuff. He understood the move was more based upon numbers than performance, having not pitched since June 10.
"There were really not too many games that got out of hand; they were usually pretty close," Henn said. "The way [Torre] uses his 'pen, he's going to stick to his horses. I don't think the opportunity really presented itself."
Autograph seekers outside the press gate at AT&T Park got a surprise at about 3 p.m. PT Friday, as Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte both bolted out of the gates, iPods locked in, and commenced to jog around McCovey Cove.
The good friends are back to their old arduous workout routines, running sprints across the outfield and shuffling with lateral movement drills that involve grabbing flipped baseballs to their lefts and rights.
Pettitte said it's great to have Clemens back "because it gives me somebody to run with," but the lefty said the workouts now have one major difference: "I'd say I work him a little harder. I'm still 10 years younger."
In the Futures:
While the Yankees have known about their scheduled trip to AT&T Park for months, one of their top prospects has just found out he'll be packing his bags for San Francisco.
Right-hander Joba Chamberlain, a supplemental first-round selection in last year's First-Year Player Draft, has been selected to pitch for the United States team at the All-Star Futures Game on July 8.
Chamberlain is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts since joining the Yankees' Double-A Trenton affiliate, and pitches Friday against the Erie SeaWolves. He started the season with at Class A Tampa and was 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in seven starts while striking out 51 and walking just 11.
With the Yankees returning to San Francisco for a meaningful game for the first time since the 1962 World Series, the Giants have planned a pregame celebration featuring members of both clubs for Sunday afternoon.
Bobby Richardson -- who stabbed Willie McCovey's line drive to end Game 7 -- will be in attendance, as well as pitcher Ralph Terry, who threw the final pitch of the Series. Other Yankees scheduled to be on hand include Tex Clevenger, Jim Coates, Hector Lopez and Jack Reed.
The Pirates claimed first baseman Josh Phelps off waivers. Phelps was designated for assignment Tuesday by the Yankees. He hit .263 after making the club in Spring Training as a Rule 5 Draft selection from the Orioles. ... Phelps' Yankees replacement at first base, Andy Phillips, did not start again Friday. Though Torre originally said that Phillips would be viewed as the everyday first baseman, the manager is comfortable with Miguel Cairo's production and said that Cairo will see action often. Phillips is still expected to start a majority of the games.
The Yankees play the second game of their three-game series with the Giants on Saturday, coming right back for an afternoon matinee at China Basin.
Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (7-4, 3.33 ERA) gets the nod against San Francisco right-hander Matt Morris (7-4, 3.21 ERA), with first pitch scheduled for 3:55 p.m. ET on FOX.