07/26/11 12:37 AM ET
Chavez on cusp of making return
By Bryan Hoch and Matt Fortuna / MLB.com
"There's a good chance we'll have him [Tuesday]," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after Monday's 10-3 win over the Mariners.
Chavez checked in at Yankee Stadium to be evaluated by the club's medical staff on Monday afternoon, and his time on a Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Tampa appears to be complete.
"Everything has been going good," Chavez said. "I'm just ready to get back at it."
Returning from a fractured left foot, Chavez started at third base on Monday for Tampa in Bradenton, Fla., and played a full nine innings, going 0-for-4 with four groundouts.
He had gone 7-for-21 (.333) in six starts for Tampa, three as a designated hitter. His return was delayed not only by the foot fracture, but also some back issues as well as a kidney stone.
"I don't know what caused it, but it seems to be fine," Chavez said. "I've still got the bad back history, and I've still got to worry about that. I'll just hold my breath for the next two months."
The Yankees are missing Alex Rodriguez from their lineup, and have been asking third-base duties of both Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Laird.
Chavez's name would enter that mix, and manager Joe Girardi said it wouldn't be the worst idea to allow Nunez an occasional day off. Chavez could also see time at first base if Mark Teixeira needs a day as the designated hitter.
"He's a pretty potent left-handed bat," Girardi said of Chavez. "We were fortunate that we were able to put Jorge [Posada] at first base, but we couldn't put Jorge at third base, necessarily. We have missed [Chavez] and it would be great to get him back."
Chavez entertained thoughts of retirement late in his injury-plagued tenure with the Athletics, and though he said the latest crop of injuries tested his spirits, Chavez never seriously thought about packing his bags and leaving the Yankees.
"I think with the back issues, it kind of crossed my mind, but once that happened I was able to recover from that pretty fast," Chavez said. "The thing that made it tough was just being away for a six-week period and then trying to get back into shape."
A-Rod's recovery progressing as planned
NEW YORK -- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez remains on target with his recovery and could return to the team by mid-August, manager Joe Girardi said on Monday.
Rodriguez had surgery performed to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on July 11, and was expected at the time to miss four to six weeks. That timetable remains accurate, Girardi said.
"I've had some communication on what he does," Girardi said. "He sends me what he does every day. He's feeling pretty good. He's moving along. I can't tell you when we'll see him; I don't have that date. I think our doctors are discussing that. He's progressing fine and he's on schedule."
Rodriguez tweaked his knee on June 19 at Wrigley Field, and played through the injury until the surgery was performed, with the intent to get completely healthy in time for September and October.
The early stages of his rehabilitation have been performed in Miami, Fla., with a move to Tampa, Fla., expected in the near future.
"He's been in the pool, jogging in the pool, he's done some elliptical work -- those type of things," Girardi said. "So far everything has been on the up and up."
Soriano close after back-to-back outings
NEW YORK -- Yankees right-hander Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless inning on Monday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and is on his way to re-joining the big league club.
Soriano recorded two groundouts and a strikeout in a hitless frame against Syracuse, the Nationals' top affiliate, throwing just 11 pitches (eight strikes).
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was pleased that Soriano has successfully pitched in back-to-back games, but said that Soriano wouldn't be available to them until Wednesday, at the earliest.
New York has an off-day on Thursday, so the Yankees could also decide to hold off on activating Soriano until Friday, when the team opens a four-game weekend series with the Orioles.
Last year's American League leader with 45 saves, Soriano has been shelved since mid-May with right elbow inflammation. He also made two rehab outings at Class A Tampa before joining Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In the first year of a three-year, $35 million deal, Soriano was 1-1 with 5.40 ERA in 16 appearances for the Yankees before going on the disabled list.
Garrison gets final outs in big league debut
NEW YORK -- Steve Garrison had only a few brief moments to prepare when the phone rang in the Yankees' bullpen for him, but his adrenaline was pumping with a little overtime.
The 24-year-old said he was much more nervous than usual, but ultimately expressed relief after retiring both batters he faced to wrap up New York's 10-3 win over the Mariners on Tuesday.
"It was definitely a good feeling," Garrison said. "After that first warmup pitch, that's when everything went away and it was just, 'Let's go. Let's get after it.' It's definitely a great feeling just to get out there and get the initial one out of the way."
Born in Trenton, N.J., and raised in Ewing, the left-hander was claimed on waivers by the Yankees from the Padres last September, especially pleasing his mother, Patty, a big Yankees fan.
Garrison -- who modeled his pitching form after Mark Mulder -- was 3-6 with a 6.26 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) at Double-A Trenton before being called up prior to last Tuesday's loss at Tampa Bay.
"I was nervous all week," Garrison said.
He felt as though he got away with one Monday, hanging a changeup to Justin Smoak that made a loud out in left fielder Brett Gardner's glove, then retired Franklin Gutierrez on a fly ball to right field.
After the game, Garrison was provided the lineup card for the game, which he'll have to find a place for.
"When I first got called up, they gave me that one and I saw my name on it," Garrison said. "This one, I don't know. I'm going to do something. I'm not going to put it away anywhere."
Right-hander Ivan Nova tossed a simulated game on Monday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Nova was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a right ankle injury last week and, if healthy, would be a strong contender to re-join the big league club for Saturday's day-night doubleheader against the Orioles.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera permitted his first run at home this season on Sunday against the Athletics, snapping a streak of 21 consecutive scoreless appearances at Yankee Stadium to begin the year. It tied Rivera for the sixth-longest such stretch to begin a season since 1920.
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson entered play on Monday with a career-high 11 home runs off left-handed pitching. It also marks the most by any Major Leaguers off lefties this season.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bryanhoch. Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.