05/30/10 5:54 PM ET
Posada takes BP, eager to return to action
By Bryan Hoch and Tim Britton / MLB.com
Posada has not played since May 16, and when he was placed on the 15-day disabled list four days later, the Yankees guessed that he might miss three to four weeks.
But after taking batting practice at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, the catcher believes he might be ready very soon.
"I need more hitting, and we'll see," Posada said. "I think if I hit today and tomorrow, we'll see. Running is the thing. I've got to run the bases and all of that stuff. If it feels fine after that, we'll see."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not have a date in mind for Posada, who may need to play in rehab games before being activated. Posada can be activated on Tuesday at the earliest and said that he "would like to" play in the Orioles series that begins that night.
"I think a lot of it is going to take care of itself when we see him run, which is real close," Girardi said. "We're real close to seeing him run on the treadmill. Once he gets through that, we'll probably put him on the field to run. And once he gets through that, he's real close."
Posada had another MRI on Thursday in New York that confirmed he is healing well from the fracture, which he believes came from a foul tip off the bat of the Twins' Michael Cuddyer. Posada was happy to get the boot removed, the first step toward his return.
"It felt better without the boot than with the boot, to tell you the truth," Posada said. "Everything else was hurting because of the boot, hip and back and all that stuff. I tried my shoe and it felt good."
Girardi said that he would watch Posada to see if he runs with a limp, which would be a "huge concern" because of the chain reaction of injuries it could cause. Other than that, Girardi said he could be quick to offer a green light.
"The one thing we don't necessarily have to worry about is, in a polite way, speed is not one of the things we have to worry about," Girardi said. "As long as he's running OK, I don't see it being an issue. It's a little different to when you look at someone like [Curtis] Granderson, because he has so much field to cover out there."
Swisher banged up in collision with wall
NEW YORK -- Nick Swisher learned an important lesson about Yankee Stadium on Sunday. When you fight the outfield wall, the ballpark almost always wins.
Swisher collided with the fence twice in pursuit of fly balls in the Yankees' 7-3 victory over the Indians, crashing into the auxiliary scoreboard to take a hit away from Jhonny Peralta in the fourth inning and banging his right shoulder as he chased Jason Donald's triple in the seventh inning.
"I'm telling you, man, that thing is tough," Swisher said. "The first one, with Peralta ... I met the fiberglass today and we said, 'Hi.' And then the [Donald] ball, I tried to make the play and couldn't do it. There's a little dent in the arm, but no big deal."
Swisher banged his head against the wall on the Donald play, falling to the warning track as Curtis Granderson backed the play up. Concerned Yankees manager Joe Girardi came out of the dugout, but returned when he saw Swisher up and walking around in right field.
Swisher singled in his next two plate appearances, scoring runs both times. After the Yankees moved to the new facility in 2009, outfielders commented that the wall seemed a little less forgiving than its predecessor across the street, and Swisher can surely attest to that.
"He said his shoulder is a little sore, and he also knocked the wind out of himself," Girardi said. "He swung the bat fine after that, but I'm curious to see how he's going to feel [Monday]. Sometimes those things are a little sore the next day."
Then, of course, there was the matter of Swisher's awareness in the fourth inning. After making the catch to end the inning, Swisher fired the ball to the cutoff man, then chuckled as he made the long jog back to the dugout with teammates waving two fingers at him -- as in, there were two outs already.
"I'm not going to admit that I didn't know there were three outs," Swisher said, laughing. "I told Robbie [Cano], 'I just wanted to make sure you could have the ball as soon as you could so you could hand it to one of the kids in the stands.'"
Mo shows agility in getting final out
NEW YORK -- Mariano Rivera might have said that his reaction to stab a ground ball while leaping over the shrapnel of a broken bat was "nothing," but to the Yankees, it was everything their closer typifies.
The final out of the Bombers' 7-3 victory over the Indians came as Luis Valbuena shattered his bat on a Rivera cutter, bouncing the ball back to the mound. In one collected sequence, Rivera avoided the whirling barrel of the bat, knocked the ball down and fired a strike to first base.
"I'm not sure a lot of pitchers could have made that play," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They might have gotten out of the way of the bat and not caught the ball, or vice versa. It's really an amazing play. I've always talked about Mo and what a great athlete he is. That's what we saw."
Rivera initially did not want to answer questions about the play, preferring instead to compliment A.J. Burnett's eight innings of work and Mark Teixeira's three-run homer in the seventh inning. But eventually the closer relented.
"It's nothing, just a ground ball," Rivera said. "I got him and got him out. You have to be aware of those and just make sure they don't hit you. It was close, but I don't know how close it was."
Rivera said that he saw both the barrel and the ball coming at him simultaneously.
"I just jumped and made sure that I grabbed the ball, and not the bat," Rivera said. "It's an out, you know what I mean? You have to find a way to get it done."
But Teixeira, who caught Rivera's throw to first base to retire Valbuena and stamp the last out of the afternoon, wasn't about to downplay what he'd seen.
"That was incredible," Teixeira said. "Mo is, by far, the best athlete on this team. I think anyone would tell you that. You should see him in pregame, catching fly balls in the outfield. You should see him run and work out. This guy, if he'd decided 20 years ago to be a center fielder, he'd probably be a Hall of Fame center fielder. Mo does unbelievable things out there."
A-Rod talks to Huff, happy pitcher is OK
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez was breathing a little easier on Sunday morning, having talked to Indians starter David Huff and learning that he was OK after being struck above the left ear by Rodriguez's line drive in the third inning on Saturday.
Rodriguez left the Yankees' clubhouse shortly after the completion of Saturday's game to see Huff in the hospital, but the pitcher was already back with the Indians at that point. Rodriguez was able to talk to him over the phone on Saturday night.
"We spoke for about five or 10 minutes, and he's just a really nice guy," Rodriguez said. "He was in good spirits. He said the results were good. There are more tests coming out and hopefully they'll be good, too."
Rodriguez compared the incident to one from two years ago, when a shot off the bat of Bobby Abreu hit Twins' pitcher Nick Blackburn in the head. This one was different, Rodriguez said, both because Huff remained motionless for so long and because the third baseman knew just how hard he hit the ball.
"David laid there for what seemed like 30 minutes, but was probably three or four minutes," Rodriguez said. "We're there with 50,000 people and only one person knows how hard you hit a guy. A lot of times you hit it back up the box, and you hit it off the end or off your hand a little. But I hit that ball really flush. He actually kidded with me yesterday that he was going to come find me during batting practice and ask me if that was my best shot, if that's all I got. My answer would have been, 'Yeah. That's all I got.'"
It wasn't too hard to discern just how hard Rodriguez had hit the ball after it ricocheted well into right field off of Huff's head. Once Rodriguez reached second safely, he took off his helmet and jogged toward the mound to check on the pitcher.
"I literally saw that ball go toward his head in slow motion," Rodriguez said. "It sounded like it hit cement, like a brick wall."
Huff appears to be fine after the scary moment, with Tribe manager Manny Acta reporting that the pitcher didn't have any concussive symptoms on Saturday. Huff is back with the team and may even make his next start.
Robertson day-to-day, not available Sunday
NEW YORK -- Dave Robertson will not be available for the Yankees on Sunday, one day after he had to leave an appearance with tightness in his lower back.
"He's down today. He's day-to-day," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He doesn't feel terrible today, but I won't use him and see how he is tomorrow."
Robertson said that he never had a bruise from the hard liner that Joe Mauer smoked off his back on Wednesday, saying that his belt -- which still has the seams from where the ball impacted it -- took the brunt of the damage.
"It's right above that, so I'm guessing that ball he hit off me probably had a little something to do with it," said Robertson, who is wearing a heat pack on his back to keep it loose.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.