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Friday, April 11, 2014
Notes: Tex may return soon, but not Ryan

By Wallace Matthews

NEW YORK -- When he wasn't answering questions about Targate (AKA PineGate), the TV-created "issue" involving what was on Michael Pineda's palm last night, he was giving updates on his bullpen and two of his three injured players, Mark Teixeira and Brendan Ryan.

Girardi said he believed Teixeira, out with a calf strain, would be back by May 1. But the news on Ryan, out since spring training with what is officially being called a "cervical spine nerve injury," isn't even close to good. Girardi all but ruled him out for May and hinted Ryan, who had all of 8 spring at-bats, may have to do spring training all over again, which means about six weeks, and that's after he is cleared to resume baseball activities, which still hasn't happened.

"He is going to take some time," Girardi said of Ryan. "He’s doing some light baseball activity. He’s taken some grounders. He's improving but he’s still a ways away from games. So I would think May 1 would be doubtful for him."

"He just started dry swings, some very light baseball activities," GM Brian Cashman said. "You’re talking sometime after May 1 [for his return].”

Thankfully, Yangervis Solarte, hitting .387, and Dean Anna, who hit his first major-league home run in Thursday night's 4-1 Yankees win over the Red Sox, have made Ryan's return less than vital.

Kelley back to closing: With a night to rest, almost all the pieces of the Yankees bullpen are available for use tonight with the exception of Vidal Nuno, who went 3 1/3 innings on Tuesday, and David Phelps, who worked 2 1/3 last night. Girardi said he was "leaning towards" Kelley as the closer tonight, but added, "I'll see where we are in the lineup."

Robertson throws: The real closer, David Robertson, who is on the DL with a left groin strain, played catch for the second time this week and said his next move would be to throw off flat ground before throwing a bullpen or two. He said he is on track to return on April 22, the first day he is eligible to come off the DL.

“The timing of [Robertson’s] injury was worst-case scenario, because as you set sail on your maiden voyage with a whole new bullpen and slots, we weren’t able to even settle into anticipated roles that spring training auditioned for," Cashman said. "But listen, if we can get through the period while Robbie’s down with success, we’ll be better off for it.”

25 is the new 34: Teixeira turned 34 today.

Boston Socks Sabathia: Since joining the Yankees in 2009, CC Sabathia, tonight's starter, is 8-7 against the Red Sox with a 5.03 ERA, his highest ERA against any Yankees opponent. Sabathia was 2-2 in five starts against Boston last year, and the last time he faced them here, on May 13, 2013, he pitched into the eighth inning, allowing one run on six hits in a 4-1 Yankees victory. Sabathia is 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA in two starts this season. He beat the Blue Jays on Sunday, going six innings and allowing four earned runs in a 6-4 Yankees win.