07/28/10 12:58 AM ET
A-Rod doesn't hit 600th homer on birthday
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Looking to become the seventh and youngest member of baseball's 600-homer club, Rodriguez has gone 21 at-bats since slugging No. 599 last Thursday against the Royals, including taking an 0-for-4 on Tuesday against the Indians.
"It'd be a good time to do it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game. "It's going to happen. It's just a matter of when."
Rodriguez has homered five times on his birthday, doing so in 1996, 2001, twice in '02 and in '04.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two players have hit a century milestone home run on their birthdays: Cecil Fielder hit No. 300 on Sept. 21, 1997, and Raul Ibanez hit No. 200 on June 2, 2009.
Rodriguez's first hacks of Tuesday came against rookie right-hander Josh Tomlin, who made his Major League debut for the Indians.
Posada sits with sore left knee
CLEVELAND -- Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was a late scratch from the club's lineup on Tuesday against the Indians with a sore left knee.
Posada had been slotted to bat sixth against Cleveland, but the change was announced shortly before the scheduled first pitch. Posada had tried squatting and found it difficult, reporting the issue to bench coach Tony Pena.
"It's all right," Posada said. "It's a little achy, nothing major. Just an achy knee."
Posada served as New York's designated hitter on Monday, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, and is batting .269 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs this season.
He said that he has been dealing all year with a cyst and inflammation near the back of his left knee, but there was "no question" Posada felt he could have at least DHed on Tuesday.
"Until the last minute, I was going [to catch]," Posada said. "I tried to squat down and it was a little more painful than usual."
Francisco Cervelli replaced Posada behind the plate, batting eighth. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that it is unlikely Posada will catch Wednesday, though he may be able to DH.
Joba's slump leaves eighth inning up in air
CLEVELAND -- The Yankees would prefer that when the bullpen phone rings in the eighth inning, one person would know that the call is coming for him. But Joba Chamberlain's struggles have left that in doubt.
When Joe Girardi called down for the eighth inning on Monday, Chamberlain stayed idle while Dave Robertson got a double-play grounder on Asdrubal Cabrera and Boone Logan retired Shin-Soo Choo.
Girardi said it would be "a misinterpretation" to say his confidence in Chamberlain has been shaken, but acknowledged he would like to see Chamberlain improve.
"The guys down there know my stance," Girardi said. "I've always talked about, when you're pitching well, you're going to pitch. If it's the eighth inning, there's a good chance I'll go to Joba."
Girardi said that he has been going by matchups of late, but Cabrera was 0-for-5 lifetime against Chamberlain and had never faced Robertson. Girardi said that he liked Robertson's stuff better in the situation against Cabrera.
"My gut told me to go with Robertson there," Girardi said. "I look at more than just numbers. I look at zones and a lot of different things on how we're going to attack hitters. That's what I base my [decisions] on."
Chamberlain has allowed eight runs on 12 hits and four walks in his last five appearances, while Robertson has not been scored upon in his last eight outings. Girardi said he would continue using his bullpen in this manner "until we get Joba right."
"I still have my job," Chamberlain said. "I understand that I can come out and help this team win. Every day, it's a challenge, it doesn't matter what day it is or what situation. You've still got to go out there and pitch well."
Burnett won't shy away from pie
CLEVELAND -- A.J. Burnett wasn't aware of Chris Coghlan's zany injury when he reported to Progressive Field on Tuesday. Truth be told, Burnett said he had never heard of the Marlins outfielder, who was last year's National League Rookie of the Year.
But Coghlan's tale should become a cautionary one, after he suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee while hitting teammate Wes Helms with a celebratory pie in the face on Sunday after a walk-off victory against the Braves. Coghlan said he jumped and landed wrong on his knee.
Burnett said he hadn't seen the injury, so he couldn't speak to it, but was baffled how someone could be injured by doing what he has made into a Yankees trademark.
"I don't exactly go full sprint into somebody with a pie," Burnett said. "I don't know. Stuff happens, I guess."
Coghlan's injury comes after the Angels' Kendry Morales was lost for the season in May, suffering a broken leg while leaping onto home plate to celebrate a walk-off grand slam. Burnett said the two events would not make him curtail his actions during the Yankees' next dramatic victory.
"You can't take the fun out of the game," Burnett said. "Celebrations at home and now pies. What's next?"
In Florida, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez has banned the pie celebrations. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he didn't feel the need to talk to his team.
"It's a shame that it happened that way [for Coghlan]," Girardi said. "A.J.'s had a lot of practice at it and seems pretty efficient at it. You've had two injuries in celebrations, but the one thing that I want to be careful about is you don't take the enjoyment out of the game. It's a fine line that you walk."
Pettitte making strides during rehab
CLEVELAND -- Andy Pettitte had a "good day" working out at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, according to manager Joe Girardi.
Pettitte went through running and agility drills at the Himes Avenue facilities as he makes his way back from a strained left groin. Pettitte also made 90 throws on level ground and told The Associated Press he is "feeling good."
The All-Star left-hander is 11-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 18 starts this season. Pettitte hopes to make it back sooner than the initial estimates of four to five weeks on the shelf after being injured while throwing a pitch on July 18 against the Rays.
Curtis Granderson has homered in three of his last seven at-bats entering play Tuesday and has hit safely in six consecutive games. ... Alfredo Aceves (strained lower back) threw the equivalent of two innings in a bullpen session on Tuesday at Progressive Field. The next step for him would be pitching live batting practice. Aceves has been out since May 12 due to setbacks. ... Nick Johnson (right wrist) took swings at soft-toss with a fungo bat in Tampa, Fla. The Yankees will have a better idea of a timetable for his return when he begins taking batting practice.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.