Instead of returning to the lineup Sunday, as Mark Teixeira had hoped, the plan is to have him just pick up a bat for the first time in a week instead.
So after nearly a week of playing short-handed, the Yankees should know Sunday if the first baseman’s strained left lat muscle finally will land him on the disabled list.
“I think we’ll have a pretty good idea if he’s able to do tee-and-toss [Sunday] what we’re gonna do,” manager Joe Girardi said before Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
With Teixeira unavailable and the Yankees carrying an extra pitcher, Girardi has been down two position players, with just Brendan Ryan and Zelous Wheeler available off the bench.
Because Carlos Beltran’s bothersome right elbow will continue to limit him to designated hitter duty for the foreseeable future, Girardi is even more limited.
Kelly Johnson, on the 15-day DL with a strained groin, hopes to resume baseball activities on Tuesday.
Girardi played for two of the managers who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Sunday.
After spending 1996-99 — and winning three World Series titles — with Joe Torre and the Yankees, Girardi spent the final season of his career in St. Louis with Tony La Russa in 2003.
“I think it’s great they’re going in together. I was able to pick their brains,” Girardi said of Torre and La Russa, who will be inducted with Bobby Cox.
Girardi said he learned how to keep a calm demeanor from Torre and how to use a bullpen from La Russa.
Cuban defector Rusney Castillo, 27, had a workout in Miami on Saturday and the Yankees were among the teams scouting the outfielder, who can also play shortstop. He is expected to get in the neighborhood of a four-year deal worth $20 million.
Both benches were warned after Jose Bautista was hit with a pitch in the first inning and Beltran was drilled in the bottom of the frame.
Girardi came out to talk to home plate ump Alan Porter after Francisco Cervelli was hit in the sixth by Drew Hutchison.
“[Porter] didn’t think it was intentional and I didn’t think it was intentional, but I wanted to know his thoughts,” Girardi said.
Shane Greene will get the start Sunday and figures to stay in the rotation.
“He’s done some really good things,” Girardi said of the rookie right-hander, who will make his fourth start of the season. “We feel good with where he’s at.”
That leaves Chase Whitley in the bullpen.
“Chase has done a really good job, but he’s a guy who’s never logged as many innings,” Girardi said. “We pushed him as far back as we could [in the rotation]. Greene has thrown 175 innings [in the minors] and is used to being starter. He’s throwing the ball really well.”
Brian Roberts has made 10 errors at second base this season and has been particularly slippery-handed of late, but Girardi defended him.
“He’s just going through a little thing right now that fielders probably go through,” Girardi said. “I don’t really have any concerns.”