07/30/12 6:36 PM ET
Joba: Knowing return is near is 'awesome'
By Bryan Hoch, Ethan Asofsky and Steven Miller / MLB.com
Chamberlain allowed one hit and struck out three Sunday, with his fastball between 94 and 98 mph, and offspeed pitches "a little harder than I expected."
"The report we got on him yesterday is that he's continued to improve," said manager Joe Girardi. "His command has gotten better. His breaking balls have gotten sharper. I think that's the important thing. His stuff was pretty good yesterday."
The Yankees will likely try to have Chamberlain enter the Thunder's game against Altoona with runners on base -- the lone situation Chamberlain has yet to see over seven rehab appearances between Trenton, the GCL Yankees and Class A Advanced Tampa. They tried to insert Chamberlain into that situation Sunday, but a double play left the bases empty when he entered in the seventh. Chamberlain did encounter something new when he warmed up in the sixth, sat down, then warmed up again and entered with two outs in the seventh.
He rejoined his teammates at Yankee Stadium before their game against the Orioles on Monday and ran, lifted, and played catch, and said he feels ready to return.
"I feel like Usain Bolt right now, just not quite that fast," said Chamberlain when asked if he sees a finish line. "Just to know it's there and the hard work's paid off, and to know there is an end in sight, is awesome."
Girardi: No setback for Pettitte in recovery
NEW YORK -- The Yankees are exercising caution as Andy Pettitte recovers from a fractured left ankle, but manager Joe Girardi said that he wouldn't necessarily classify the left-hander as having experienced a setback.
Pettitte, 40, said on Sunday in published reports that he had pushed himself too hard during the team's trip to Seattle and that he would have to back off so the swelling could alleviate.
Girardi said that the Yankees continue to expect Pettitte to return to their rotation in September, and that this recent update doesn't constitute a change in that thinking. Doctors have been encouraged by Pettitte's healing thus far.
"We've said all along this is a 60-day injury, at least," Girardi said. "If you don't pick up a baseball and throw off a mound for at least six weeks, 60 days is pretty tough to get back by. ... As far as a setback, I wouldn't call it a setback. I think it's part of the healing process."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that his thinking has not been impacted by the Pettitte update, noting, "I only get concerned when they tell me to get concerned."
Pettitte suffered a fracture of his fibula when he was hit by a Casey Kotchman one-hop ground ball during a June 27 start against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium. He came out of retirement this spring after sitting out for the 2011 season, joining the big league club in May and going 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in nine starts.
Cashman doesn't expect Yanks to swing more deals
NEW YORK -- Brian Cashman may have been on what he called "a sanity walk" around Yankee Stadium, enjoying a brief respite from the stresses of his office, but the Yankees' general manager said he doesn't expect his club to be a mover and shaker at Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
With rumors swirling that the Phillies may be trying to deal left-hander Cliff Lee, Cashman lightheartedly shot down speculation that the Yankees would make another run at the hurler, whom they nearly acquired from the Mariners in July 2010 before he was traded to the Rangers.
"I'm not allowed to speak about another team's player," Cashman said, "but if there was a hypothetical mythical beast that makes like $25 million a year for the next 'X' amount of years that [hit] the market, we certainly could not participate in that type of level of financial talent."
Lee, who is 1-6 with a 3.95 ERA in 17 starts for the Phillies, is guaranteed $75 million over the next three seasons, and would impact the Yankees' ability to reach their $189 million payroll goal for the 2014 season. Cashman said that payroll objective is not affecting how the Yankees do business.
"It hasn't hampered us at all," Cashman said. "We should be able to get everything done we need to get done at that level anyway."
Cashman said that the trade landscape has "gotten quiet all of a sudden," and though he wouldn't completely rule out the chances of the Yankees making a trade before 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, Cashman said he is "not at all" optimistic because prices have been too high.
"There are some very motivated buyers that you've seen, and some very reluctant sellers," Cashman said. "It's always difficult to agree on price regardless. I'm very comfortable that I know we're getting our guys back from the DL. It's just trying to maintain health, stay healthy and get healthy, and keep going with what you've got."
Cashman's Yankees, of course, have already pulled off one notable July move -- bringing in outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from the Mariners on July 23 in exchange for Minor League pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar, plus cash considerations.
"I'm glad we got him," Cashman said. "We've had a lot of stuff happen since we got him; with [Nick] Swisher being down, he's playing right field for us. It feels like he's been here. It's been an easy transition. He's happy to be here. It's good."
Yanks stick with Swisher at DH for time being
NEW YORK -- Nick Swisher started at designated hitter for the second day in a row on Monday, and he could continue to play that role for the rest of the Yankees' series against Baltimore.
"Just from some of the discussions that I've had with him, [it] just tells me to continue to DH him," manager Joe Girardi said. "I might DH him every day in this next three days. I'm not sure. I'll continue to discuss it with him, and see how he feels."
Swisher -- who hasn't played in the outfield since mildly straining his left hip flexor on July 20 -- worked with trainers for close to an hour before Monday's game. He feels ready to play at full speed, but with the way the team is playing, he sees no reason to rush back into the field. He shares Girardi's sentiments that the possibility of a setback just isn't worth returning to the outfield before everything checks out.
"Right now, with the way everything is going, we can afford to do this," Swisher said. "I guess that's kind of the answer. Why wouldn't we? As soon as we get back on the field playing, you don't want to leave for the rest of the time. If we can soak up a couple DH days, yesterday and today, maybe tomorrow I'll play the field and we'll go from there."
In Swisher's first game back as a starter on Sunday, he went 2-for-4 as a DH with Andruw Jones starting in left field and Ichiro Suzuki playing in right. Girardi said having a capable glove like Ichiro's has made it easier to sit Swisher until he's ready.
"It makes it easier," Girardi said. "I think you just have to be smart about it, and we've told him to be smart about it and communicate."
Reliever David Aardsma threw Monday for the first time since suffering a late-June setback in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, according to his Twitter account. Aardsma has yet to pitch for the Yankees after undergoing surgery last July as a member of the Seattle Mariners. He threw five innings and did not allow an earned run over three rehab appearances with the GCL Yankees before he was shut down.
Former Yankees manager Casey Stengel was born on this date in 1890 in Kansas City, Mo. He led the Yankees for 12 seasons from 1949-60, and won seven World Series titles and 10 American League pennants.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Ethan Asofsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.