Notes: Felix Rodriguez on 15-day DL

Notes: Felix Rodriguez on 15-day DL

NEW YORK -- Felix Rodriguez was placed on the 15-day disabled list after Tuesday's game with a torn medial meniscus in his left knee.

The Yankees will purchase the contract of infielder Russ Johnson from Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday and add him to the 40-man roster. Johnson, who has been starting at third base for the Clippers, gives manager Joe Torre some flexibility off the bench, as he can play both infield and outfield.

The move also reduces the Yankees' pitching staff to 11 pitchers, as the team has gone with a 12-man staff for most of the season.

"If it were my choice, we wouldn't be at 12 pitchers," said general manager Brian Cashman, "but this is definitely not the way I wanted to have that choice made."

According to Cashman, Rodriguez suffered the injury while getting out of the shower, though the general manager was unsure whether it happened on Monday night or during the day on Tuesday. Rodriguez underwent an MRI exam on Tuesday afternoon, and team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon recommended that he undergo surgery on the knee.

Cashman said that should Rodriguez have the surgery, he would likely miss four to six weeks. Rodriguez will speak with his agent on Wednesday to discuss whether he will get a second opinion.

Flashy numbers: Torre typically gives catcher Jorge Posada a game off when the Yankees play a day game after a night game, but with Aaron Sele getting the start for the Mariners on Tuesday night, Torre decided to switch things up.

That's because backup catcher John Flaherty has six hits in 14 career at-bats against Sele, a .429 average, including three home runs.

"Normally, we wouldn't play Jorge in a day game after a night game," Torre said. "But we reversed it today because of the matchup."

The move worked, as Flaherty belted an RBI single against Sele in the second inning, then plated another run in the third with an RBI double.

Randy ready: Randy Johnson came through his outing on Monday night unscathed, setting him up to make his next start on Sunday against the A's.

Johnson, who missed his last start with a minor groin injury, gave the Yankees a scare when he reached for the groin in the first inning, but he went on to toss eight innings and 119 pitches in the win over Seattle.

"Everybody was taken aback in the first inning last night, because you know that [pitching in a game] isn't the same as warming up in the bullpen," Torre said. "When I went out there, it wasn't even a question that he was staying in the game."

Torre said that the entire starting rotation would be given an extra day of rest due to Thursday's off day. Mike Mussina threw 131 pitches on Saturday, while Kevin Brown threw 106 on Sunday.

"You get a chance to give them an extra day," Torre said. "Moose threw a lot of pitches the other day, so I think it will benefit everybody."

On deck: The Yankees will go for a three-game sweep on Wednesday, as they host the Mariners in a matinee in the Bronx.

Carl Pavano takes the mound for the Yankees, who will try for their fifth consecutive victory. Seattle counters with left-hander Jamie Moyer.

Mark Feinsand is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.