Pregame notes: Good news on injuries

BALTIMORE -- While the Yankees are not expected to have anyone come off the disabled list during this eight-game road trip, Joe Girardi was in a chipper mood because there was some positive news on many of the injuries.

"All our guys are increasing their activity," Girardi said.

Let's take them by one-by-one.

Mark Teixeira (wrist) took live at-bats in a simulated game, allowing him to bat right-handed and left-handed.

"It is definite progress for him," Girardi said.

Still, Teixeira is not expected back until June.

Alex Rodriguez took a step forward by taking ground balls in Tampa on Monday, but Girardi said he is still not going to be ready until after the All-Star Break at the earliest.

"He is going to have to go through basically a full spring training," Girardi said.

Derek Jeter (ankle) is still not doing anything. Brian Cashman told the New York Post that Jeter will go to the doctor in Charlotte this week for a check-up. Jeter seems a long ways away. The Yankees have already projected Jeter's return for after the All-Star Break, but how far after is open question.

Kevin Youkilis (back) is taking batting practice. Youkilis has only played one game in the last month, so he is going to need some rehab games. He is not there yet.

Eduardo Nunez (oblique) took dry swings and ground balls, but he likely won't be back until the middle of next week, at the earliest.

Ivan Nova (knee) threw "60-something" pitches, going 3 2/3 innings in an extended game. He will take a couple of days off now. Nova's return to the starting rotation could be blocked by David Phelps' effectiveness.

Chris Stewart (groin) took some tee-and-toss here at Camden Yards. Girardi said Stewart, who is not on the DL, felt OK. Austin Romine started on Monday and might do so the rest of the Orioles series. Stewart is available in an emergency.

WHERE'S VERN: In his career, Vernon Wells is 7-for-16 (.438) against Freddy Garcia, while Ichiro Suzuki is 11-for-30 (.367) So why did Girardi start Ichiro and not the 32-year-old Wells against Freddy Garcia?

"It just allows me to give Vernon a couple of days off," Girardi said. "I'm going to have to do some rotating with these guys. Anytime you can get a guy, an older guy sometimes, two days off, it is helpful. He played every day in that last long stretch that we've had. He has played a lot over the last 30 days. I thought it might help."

On Wells' numbers against Garcia, Girardi said they were from a long time ago and, "I have four outfielders and it's something I'm going to have to manage a little bit."