05/10/10 7:20 PM ET
Thames' memories of Detroit lasting
Former Tigers outfielder back at Comerica Park with Yanks
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
"It was a little weird," Thames said. "I didn't know where the training room or any of that stuff was. I went out early and saw some of the guys, but after that, it's time to play baseball. It's good to be back, and I'll try to chip in when I get in there tonight."
Thames wore a Tigers uniform from 2004-09, honing his craft and expanding a reputation as a dangerous force against left-handed pitching. He said that his fondest memories in Detroit came during the 2006 campaign.
"I made the team out of Spring Training, and we went to the playoffs for the first time while I was here," Thames said. "We went to the World Series. I had a lot of firsts here, and I won't forget it, but now I'm back with the Yankees. That's where it all started."
Thames said that he planned to be in the dugout for Monday's pregame ceremony paying tribute to late Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who passed away on May 4 at the age of 92.
"Ernie was a great guy -- he'd talk to even the janitors," Thames said. "He remembered everyone's name. He remembered everything. He loved the game of baseball. He left his mark here in the state of Michigan and on baseball. The people here were crazy about him."
Calf better, Posada back behind plate
DETROIT -- Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was back behind the plate on Monday night, preparing to receive starter Sergio Mitre in his first catching duty since suffering a strained right calf.
"We were hoping a week would clear it up, and that's what you look at with a Grade 1 strain," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's been a week, and we need to keep him healthy."
Posada, 38, started on Sunday as New York's designated hitter and went 0-for-4 in a 9-3 loss to the Red Sox in Boston. He had missed the previous four games with the calf issue and had three hits in his past 18 at-bats entering play on Monday.
Nova adds fresh arm to Yanks' bullpen
DETROIT -- The Yankees recalled right-hander Ivan Nova from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday, optioning right-hander Romulo Sanchez a day after he made his New York debut.
Nova, 23, was 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA in six starts with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, leading the team with 32 strikeouts and ranking third with 37 innings. Nova's flight from Scranton was scheduled to land around game time on Monday.
"I liked his command, I liked his poise, I liked his fastball and changeup," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who saw Nova during Spring Training. "He had good stuff. He's just a young man that really just needs to pitch, and he's been pitching well in Triple-A."
Sanchez hurled 3 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball on Sunday against the Red Sox in relief of starter A.J. Burnett, who was knocked out in the fifth inning of a 9-3 loss.
Chan Ho Park, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring, threw 45 pitches on Monday in Tampa, Fla., and "felt great," according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi. He is scheduled to pitch in an extended Spring Training game on Wednesday. ... Alfredo Aceves, sidelined with a stiff lower back, was scheduled to play catch on Monday and could be available to pitch on Tuesday. ... Nick Swisher entered play on Monday having driven in at least one run in seven of the Yankees' eight May games. ... Aaron Boone, the Yankees' 2003 postseason hero, spent time in the visitors' clubhouse on Monday. Boone is working for ESPN.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.