Mark Teixeira set to start in minors

Updated: May 29, 2013, 2:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Injured New York Yankees infielders Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis are ready to start minor league rehab assignments, and both could be activated for this weekend's series against the Boston Red Sox.

Both players took part in an extended spring training game Tuesday, then said they were leaving the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., to join Double-A Trenton.

The Yankees also activated Joba Chamberlain from the disabled list, and he was back in the bullpen for Tuesday night's Subway Series game against the New York Mets after missing a month with a strained muscle on his right side. To make room on the roster, left-hander David Huff was designated for assignment.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said both Teixeira, on the 60-day DL since the beginning of the season due to a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist, and Youkilis, out of action since April 28 with a lower back sprain, took five at-bats in the extended spring training game in Tampa, and both would play two games, Wednesday and Thursday, for Trenton before the Yankees make a decision on whether to activate one or both for Friday's game at Yankee Stadium.

Teixeira's trip to Trenton had been planned from last week, but Girardi said the decision to send Youkilis, too, was made last night. Both Girardi and Teixeira have said that two rehab games should be enough to prepare him to return to the big club -- Tex played in simulated games last week and in an extended spring game on Saturday -- and now the manager says two games might be enough for Youkilis, too.

"I've said all along it depends on how they feel, physically and mentally, when you decide to activate them,'' Girardi said.

When Teixeira and Youkilis return, the Yankees will have to part with Lyle Overbay or rookie David Adams. The Yankees could keep Overbay as Teixeira's backup and send Adams  down to the minors, or they could keep Adams as their everyday third baseman and use Youkilis to back up at both first and third, which would mean parting ways with Overbay.

Before getting hurt, Chamberlain had been used primarily in the seventh inning, a role that has since been filled nicely by other relievers such as Shawn Kelley and Preston Claiborne.

"Everybody's throwing the ball well, so just to be able to be in the mix with those guys down there, it's been fun to watch. And now to be a part of it, it's going to be even better," Chamberlain said. "I've been in every situation, so there's not going to be any situation that catches me off guard, and I think that's my advantage. Obviously, whatever inning it is and whatever situation, I'm going to be ready to go and look forward to it."

Girardi said he plans to use Chamberlain the way he did before the injury.

"I anticipate Joba getting there. We'll see how we use him right away," Girardi said. "Sometimes when a guy comes back from an injury, you kind of want to kind of work him back slowly, but we'll see what the opportunity is."

Huff had just been added to the roster Sunday, one day after he was claimed off waivers from Cleveland. He pitched in one game for the Yankees, allowing one run in one inning against the Tampa Bay Rays.

In other injury news, left-hander Andy Pettitte threw 75 pitches during a five-inning simulated game, his first game-type action since going on the 15-day disabled list May 17 because of a strained muscle in his upper back.

Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, coming back from hip surgery in January, has resumed taking on-field batting practice as he moves into his fourth week of baseball activities.

Eduardo Nunez, who had been filling in at shortstop for injured Derek Jeter, was kept off the field as he tries to heal a strained muscle on his left side. Nunez felt discomfort during batting practice Saturday and was shut down.

Girardi said right-hander Michael Pineda was throwing well at extended spring training but was taken out of the game because of a cracked nail. Pineda, an All-Star as a rookie in 2011, is coming back from right shoulder surgery that sidelined him all of last season. He has not pitched for the Yankees yet after being acquired from Seattle in a trade after the 2011 season.

Information form ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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