NEW YORK -- Russell Martin will spend most of Tuesday receiving treatment on his stiff lower back, but if the month were different and the stakes higher, he'd be in the Yankees' lineup.
"If we were in the playoffs, I'm playing," Martin said. "I know I could play."
Martin had to be convinced to come out of the Yankees' lineup after an unimpressive batting-practice session on Monday, and Francisco Cervelli got another starting nod on Tuesday.
The Yankees have been without Martin for six of their last seven games, having played him only on Sunday against the Indians. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he is encouraged by Martin's progress.
"He feels better," Girardi said. "Our goal is to get him to where he's swinging and he has that explosiveness and that whip. That was what I didn't see in the game. I didn't see it in BP [Monday]."
Martin acknowledges he doesn't have the same explosiveness in his hip rotation, but said that an MRI last week showed "nothing significant" and that head athletic trainer Gene Monahan thought the issue might disappear within five to 10 days.
Thus, Martin said he thought the 15-day disabled list would be excessive.
"I'd probably be sitting for about eight to nine days, feeling great," Martin said. "I'm just taking it day to day. Hopefully I play tomorrow and feel a little bit better. That's all I need to feel, a little bit better."