08/04/07 3:28 PM ET
Notes: Giambi's return to impact roster
No word on who will lose time once slugger comes back
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
With the big-swinging, often-on-base slugger entering the second day of what is expected to only be a weekend stay with the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, the parent club has not made any concrete decisions about what they will do when Giambi is ready to return to the big league level.
Giambi, 36, has been sidelined since May 30, when he tore the plantar fascia of his left foot while running out a home run at Toronto's Rogers Centre. The possibility remains that Giambi could rejoin the club where he left it, meeting up with the Yankees as soon as Tuesday, but it remains up for debate who will lose playing time as a result.
"I don't know who it's going to impact," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "Obviously, if he's in the game, it's going to impact somebody. Until he physically gets back here, I'm not going to deal with it. I think the tough part, for us, is making room for him. We really don't have anybody that you don't want to have here."
Giambi's big league stats have been frozen with seven home runs and 23 RBIs to go along with a .262 batting average, but he contributed the bulk of production in April, when he batted .322 with four homers and 17 RBIs.
The return of a healthy Giambi would provide presence to the Yankees' lineup, but it will threaten to displace a formula that has helped the club post a 16-7 record since the All-Star break, best in the Majors.
Melky Cabrera has cemented his spot in center field, including a scorching July in which he batted .368 -- third in the AL -- but in doing so, he has also displaced Johnny Damon, who has found refuge as the Yankees' designated hitter.
Adding Giambi to the roster could also threaten the spot of rookie Shelley Duncan, while Wilson Betemit's presence and apparent flexibility as a first baseman also figures to make utility man Miguel Cairo superfluous in the near future.
Happy 45th, Rocket: Roger Clemens celebrated his 45th birthday on Saturday, but the right-hander said he didn't have any wild ideas in mind. Perhaps that's appropriate, considering Clemens, more than anyone, would attest that age is simply a number.
"We're going to go out for a New York City dinner," Clemens said. "You can't beat that, can you?"
With 48-year-old Julio Franco having been designated for assignment by the Braves, Clemens is currently the oldest active player in the Major Leagues.
Betemit gets first: One day after saying that the Yankees had little reason to rush Betemit into the mix at first base, the 25-year-old infielder found himself making his first career start at the bag.
Betemit's brief but impressive run of success against Royals right-hander Kyle Davies factored into Torre's decision to put the switch-hitter in the lineup. Both career National League players before being dealt at the trade deadline, Betemit has faced Davies twice and homered off the hurler both times.
Torre was among a coaching group that helped instruct Betemit before Friday's game, and though Don Mattingly will be relied upon to help coordinate Betemit on cutoff throws and positioning, Torre said that Betemit's status as an "aggressive-type" infielder would help him make a quick adjustment.
"The infield part is going to be a plus for him," Torre said. "He has good hands. I've watched him a number of times on TV playing third base and not being hesitant about what he does. Hopefully he has a comfortable day over there."
Now, Jo-Po a go: Jorge Posada brought his hot bat -- good for 11 hits in his last 16 at-bats -- back to the Yankees' lineup Saturday after resting his swollen left knee for a game.
Posada suffered the injury while blocking the plate in the seventh inning of Thursday's series finale against the White Sox, and though he sported a heavy ice pack walking around the clubhouse Saturday morning, he told reporters that he was "fine."
"He feels better," Torre said. "It's not going to totally go away, but at least he's able to squat down."
Bombers bits: Hideki Matsui may be given a day off on the artificial turf at Toronto's Rogers Centre on Monday, Torre said. Matsui has hit safely in 23 of 26 games. ... Joba Chamberlain, 21, a heavy consideration to join the Yankees' bullpen down the stretch, is expected to throw two innings in relief for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. ... The Yankees are 23-8 in their last 31 home games since June 8, more home wins than any other team in the Majors.
Coming up: The Yankees complete their three-game weekend series with the Royals on Sunday, sending right-hander Mike Mussina (6-7, 4.75 ERA) against right-hander Gil Meche (7-8, 3.70). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.