7/8/2013 8:13 P.M. ET
Claimed off waivers, Ishikawa makes Yanks debut
By Josh Vitale / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Travis Ishikawa was on his way to church near his home in California's Bay Area on Sunday morning when his agent texted him and told him the Yankees had claimed him off waivers.
The 29-year-old first baseman almost didn't believe it at first. But when Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called him a few minutes later and told him to get to New York in time for Monday's game against the Royals, he knew it was true.
And he's been an "anxious wreck" ever since.
"Obviously, it doesn't matter where you grew up, you've heard of the Yankees," Ishikawa said. "Just to be a part of it, I'm excited."
Ishikawa, whom the Orioles designated for assignment on June 29, started at first base and batted sixth for the Yankees on Monday. He batted .118 in 17 at-bats with Baltimore this year, and hit .316 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in the Minors this season. He's a career .260 hitter over six Major League seasons.
Manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees brought him in to give Lyle Overbay a few days off here and there. Overbay has been the Yankees' only first baseman since Mark Teixeira went on the disabled list with a season-ending wrist injury on June 26.
Third baseman David Adams was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Ishikawa.
"It's always hard, because everyone wants to be here," Girardi said. "But the way we saw it is, [Adams] is someone we expect to be a player here for a while, and for him not to play every day didn't make sense to us. We want him to play and be ready to help us when we need it."
Ishikawa was excited last week when he looked at the Orioles' schedule and saw they would be heading to New York to play the Yankees over the weekend. He had never played at Yankee Stadium in his career, and he was excited about seeing it for the first time.
On Monday, he did.
"When [the Orioles] designated me, I was a little disappointed," Ishikawa said. "But I guess I got my wish, so I'm ecstatic right now."
Granderson not yet ready to swing a bat
NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson is nearly six weeks removed from undergoing surgery on his fractured left pinky finger, but he still hasn't progressed to swinging a bat.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the outfielder has been taking swings underwater, but he has not yet received a report that says Granderson is ready to start hitting off a tee or taking soft toss.
"It's probably not healing as quickly as I would like," Girardi said. 'I don't think that you can ever say, when you come from an injury like a broken hand, how long it's going to take. Maybe it's taking longer than we expected, but we didn't really put a time on it."
General manager Brian Cashman said on Friday that Granderson could be back with the Yankees by the end of July, and Girardi agreed that was a possibility.
"Once he starts hitting," Girardi said, "it'll go pretty quick."
Granderson injured his hand after being hit with a pitch on May 24 against the Rays, which was just his eighth game of the season after missing the first month and a half with a broken arm suffered in Spring Training.
He's batting .250 with a home run, an RBI, five runs and a stolen base in 28 at-bats this season.
• Derek Jeter continued his rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday. He started at shortstop after serving as the designated hitter on Sunday. He entered Monday 1-for-4 with a single and three walks over two games.
Asked if he could return to the Yankees by this weekend, Girardi said, "There's always a chance. You just have to see how he does the next three or four days."
• Alex Rodriguez will continue his rehab assignment with Class A Tampa on Tuesday and will start at third base. He is 1-for-9 with a single in four rehab games.
• Pitcher Michael Pineda was officially optioned to Triple-A on Sunday after making his final rehab start the night before. The young right-hander, who is working his way back from shoulder surgery, was 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA and 22 strikeouts over five starts in the Minors. Granderson was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Pineda on the 40-man roster.
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.