Notes: Bone spur keeps Giambi out

Notes: Bone spur keeps Giambi out

NEW YORK -- Jason Giambi spent most of his Wednesday afternoon receiving treatment at Yankee Stadium, hoping to quiet the barking bone spur in his left foot.

Giambi, 36, was removed from Tuesday's game by manager Joe Torre for a sixth-inning pinch-hitter due to flaring discomfort in the foot, which Giambi said has been nagging him since the Yankees' series at Texas last week.

Giambi said that X-rays taken on Tuesday in New York revealed the spur, which Giambi attributed in part to the field conditions at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Through the Yankees' public relations department, Giambi said that he still feels irritation, though he claims that the day off did him some good. Giambi plans to see a New York-based foot specialist on Thursday for precautionary reasons.

Torre said that he does not anticipate the bone spur creating a disabled list situation for Giambi, who is batting .299 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in 31 games for New York this season.

"We're not there," Torre said. "I'm not saying it won't be, but we don't anticipate that being the case. ... I'm sure he'll be fine in a day or so. It's just something that's been nagging him on the bottom of his foot."

Torre said that the bone spur could be treated with some sort of additional cushioning, as it appears to be more sensitive at times than others. The injury is to Giambi's back foot while batting, which makes it more difficult for him to shift his weight and push off on swings.

"To me, it's not about only baseball," Torre said. "I think any job you have when you're walking and your feet hurt, it's not a comfortable feeling."

With Giambi out of the lineup, Torre selected leadoff hitter Johnny Damon to serve as the designated hitter, with Derek Jeter moving down in the lineup to bat third. Bobby Abreu's one-day stint as the Yankees' No. 7 hitter came to an end, with the right fielder shifted to the No. 2 hole.

Designated DH: The first few weeks of the regular season could be described as a gauntlet for Damon, who has battled numerous injuries to his calves and back that sent him searching for the help of an Orlando, Fla.-based chiropractor during a recent off-day.

The 33-year-old Damon continues to play through the pain, though, and even though he feels that he can still run down a few fly balls as a center fielder, he's not averse to a half-day of work.

Thus, Damon didn't lose his ever-present grin when he saw the lineup card and the letters "DH" behind his name. The Yankees plan to allow Damon that option whenever it presents itself.

"Any time we get a chance, we're going to do that, just to save whatever we can," Torre said.

Catch two: Following on the heels of Mike Mussina's economical performance last Thursday at Texas, when the right-hander limited the Rangers to a run on four hits in a 64-pitch, five-inning start, the Yankees opted not to change the battery.

Backup catcher Wil Nieves was behind the plate when Mussina threw his first pitch to leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton on Wednesday. With a getaway day matinee set for Thursday, Jorge Posada was issued the evening off in preparation for his assignment receiving starter Chien-Ming Wang.

"I think they wanted to keep us together," Nieves said. "We've worked well."

Packing up: Phil Hughes, the organization's top pitching prospect, is preparing to leave the Major League club.

The 20-year-old Hughes, on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring suffered in a May 1 start at Texas, will fly to Tampa, Fla., when the Yankees leave New York on Thursday on a flight bound for Seattle.

Hughes had his arm wrapped in ice after Tuesday's game, saying that he'd thrown on flat ground for three consecutive days at Yankee Stadium. He'll resume workouts at Legends Field over the weekend.

In the meantime, the Yankees were preparing to send the right-hander off in style -- an empty Dom Perignon box was being handed around the clubhouse for his teammates to autograph, marked in silver ink as "First Major League Win -- 5/1/07." But where was the champagne?

"Oh, I kept the bottle, too," Hughes said.

Ready again: The Yankees had proceeded cautiously with setup man Kyle Farnsworth, citing his unavailability in most back-to-back day situations. But Torre said that Farnsworth had raised his hand for a third straight game on Wednesday, proclaiming his readiness to pitch.

Farnsworth pitched an inning in both ends of the Yankees' May 3 doubleheader at Texas, and he also pitched in consecutive games in the Seattle series. As of right now, with the Yankees' bullpen beginning to straighten out, Torre said that Farnsworth is back to his envisioned eighth-inning role.

"He's our eighth-inning guy, if everything's lined up the way we planned it out this spring," Torre said.

Igawa in action: Kei Igawa made his first tune-up appearance at the Yankees' Himes Avenue Minor League complex on Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., performing work on his mechanics and conditioning.

Igawa, who is being supervised by pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, is expected to remain in Tampa for a lengthy period of time as the Yankees deconstruct his pitching motion to make him more Major League-ready.

Crosstown larceny: Jeter's stolen base in the first inning on Wednesday was his 252nd in a Yankees uniform, surpassing current Mets manager Willie Randolph for second on the Bombers' all-time list.

This and that: Reliever Scott Proctor said that he has not heard anything further regarding his upcoming appeal of a four-game suspension, stemming from his actions in Sunday's game against the Mariners. ... Since July 20, 2005, the Yankees have gone 17-2 against the Rangers. ... Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are only the third pair of Yankees teammates in the last 50 years to have at least 40 hits and 20 runs scored in the team's first 30 games of the season, joining Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield (1988) and Tino Martinez and Bernie Williams (1997), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Coming up: The Yankees and Rangers will play the third and final game of their series on Thursday afternoon, with Wang (1-2, 3.98 ERA) headed to the mound for New York. Right-hander Brandon McCarthy (2-4, 7.96 ERA) will get the call for Texas, with first pitch slated for 1:05 p.m. ET.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.