Posada had been slotted to bat sixth against Cleveland, but the change was announced shortly before the scheduled first pitch. Posada had tried squatting and found it difficult, reporting the issue to bench coach Tony Pena.
"It's all right," Posada said. "It's a little achy, nothing major. Just an achy knee."
Posada served as New York's designated hitter on Monday, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, and is batting .269 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs this season.
He said that he has been dealing all year with a cyst and inflammation near the back of his left knee, but there was "no question" Posada felt he could have at least DHed on Tuesday.
"Until the last minute, I was going [to catch]," Posada said. "I tried to squat down and it was a little more painful than usual."
Francisco Cervelli replaced Posada behind the plate, batting eighth. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that it is unlikely Posada will catch Wednesday, though he may be able to DH.