Notes: Brown might start on July 5

Notes: Brown might start July 5

BALTIMORE -- Kevin Brown had a productive throwing session at the Yankees' training complex in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, giving the team hope that he will be able to come off the disabled list the next time his spot in the rotation comes around.

Brown threw 50 pitches on flat ground at a distance of 90 feet, feeling no pain in his strained lower back.

"He had absolutely no problems today," said manager Joe Torre. "That was a little bit of a surprise."

Brown went on the 15-day disabled list on June 18, retroactive to June 16. In his last start, against the Pirates on June 15, Brown left after four innings with back spasms. He was treated for a few days before being placed on the DL, as the Yankees called up rookie Sean Henn to take his place in the rotation.

Henn made two starts for New York, going 0-2 while allowing nine earned runs in nine innings. New York was able to skip that spot in the rotation this week, pushing it off until July 5 against Baltimore.

Brown is 4-6 with a 5.48 ERA in 11 starts this season, but he will regain his slot as soon as he returns. If his throwing sessions go well over the next few days, he could be back in time for that next turn.

"He had no problems," Torre said. "If that continues, he's very realistic for July 5."

Bolstering the bullpen: The Yankees recalled right-hander Jason Anderson from Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday, optioning outfielder Kevin Reese back to the Minors.

But Anderson's stay with the club may be a short one, as Wednesday's rainout eliminated the Yankees' need for an extra reliever.

"We're going to have to talk, figure out what we'll do before Friday," said Torre, who had already spoken with general manager Brian Cashman about the situation.

Torre said before the game that with Tom Gordon unavailable following his two-inning outing on Tuesday, the club felt it needed another arm in the bullpen. Gordon will be available on Friday, when the Yanks open a three-game set in Detroit.

"Using up Gordon last night the way we did," the manager said, "we felt it wasn't going to hurt us to have a little more support."

Anderson is 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 35 relief appearances for Columbus this season, striking out 42 in 47 1/3 innings. Torre had hinted before the rainout that Anderson's stint with the team may be brief, as the Yanks are leaning toward adding infielder Felix Escalona to the roster later in the week.

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"Today is the only promise I can make," Torre said. "We call guys up because we feel they're going to work, especially young guys. They need regular work. We just want to see what options we have, what kind of depth we have."

Bernie's back: Bernie Williams was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday before the game was postponed, as he would have made his first start in center field since Saturday afternoon.

Williams had made 14 consecutive starts in center from June 11-25, his longest stretch in a year, but Torre benched him on Sunday in favor of Tony Womack, who has started the past three games.

During those three games, Williams has pinch-hit three times, drawing an important walk on Sunday in the comeback win over the Mets, then delivering the game-winning sacrifice fly on Monday in Baltimore.

"I think he got worn down a little bit," Torre said. "He's been in a good frame of mind the last few days, taking his role very in a very good frame of mind."

Wang OK: Chien-Ming Wang, who was hit in his right forearm by a batted ball on Tuesday night, appears to be on schedule to make his start on Sunday in Detroit.

Wang was hit by a comebacker hit by Brian Roberts, the first batter of Tuesday's game. He remained in the game to throw seven solid innings, getting a no-decision after Gordon squandered the lead in the eighth.

Wang left the ballpark on Tuesday night with a compression wrap on his arm, saying it was "sore a little bit" but not painful. He arrived at Camden Yards on Wednesday wearing a wrap as well.

"He should be fine," Torre said of Wang's arm. "He shouldn't have a problem."

Tampa tidbits: Jaret Wright continued his throwing program this week, throwing on flat ground from a distance of 120 feet on Monday and Tuesday.

Wright is scheduled to play catch every day through Saturday, then throw from 120 feet again on Sunday.

Rey Sanchez, on the DL with a cervical sprain and vertigo since June 14, isn't showing much improvement, according to Torre, leaving the infielder's return date up in the air.

"There hasn't been a lot of improvement," Torre said. "He still doesn't have a lot of freedom."

On deck: After an off-day on Thursday, the Yankees open a three-game series at Comerica Park on Friday night against the Tigers. New York sends Randy Johnson to the mound, while Detroit counters with Jeremy Bonderman.

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