NEW YORK -- For the second consecutive game, outfielder Nick Swisher was out of the Yankees' lineup due to a sore left Achilles tendon.
Although Swisher's ailing Achilles was still heavily taped when he entered the clubhouse Saturday, the outfielder said the pain has gradually subsided with the extra rest. But the progress wasn't enough to convince manager Joe Girardi to reinsert him into the lineup.
"I'm going to give him another day and I'll reevaluate him [Sunday]," Girardi said. "He told me he felt a lot better than he did [Friday], so that's a good sign. And with the quick turnaround, I just said, 'You know what, I'm just going to give you another day and we'll get you back in there [Sunday]."
But Swisher didn't have to wait that long. In the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday, Girardi opted to pinch-hit Swisher in favor of Marcus Thames, who started the afternoon in right field, to provide the Yankees with an offensive boost.
Swisher launched a shot to left field, but the Royals' Rick Ankiel made a diving catch to rob him of a hit. Despite registering the out, Swisher felt encouraged by his at-bat and said he expects to play in Sunday afternoon's series finale.
"It felt fine," Swisher said. "Running was a little different, but that's OK. I got a lot of treatment [Friday], got a lot today, and I'll be ready for [Sunday]."