"The timing of it, more than anything, is disappointing," Phillips said. "It's pretty simple math, if you go according to what they say the timetable is."
Phillips said that he feared the injury was rather serious as he left the game, heading directly to the clubhouse to receive ice treatment and a protective wrap.
"I had an indication," Phillips said. "I wanted to think it wasn't. I've never been hit in the hand before, so I don't know what to compare it to, as far as if it was broken or not broken. I knew by the way it felt that it probably wasn't your run of the mill, just getting hit by a pitch."
Phillips said that he felt as though "someone hit [him] with a hammer" on the wrist, which he said did not swell much overnight.
In 61 games for the Yankees, Phillips was batting .292 (54-for-185) with two home runs and 25 RBIs, enjoying something of a pleasant comeback story.
"He had a lot of good things happen in between some really tough times for himself," Torre said.
Phillips' Spring Training was interrupted by his mother's serious traffic accident back home in Alabama, costing him playing time as he competed to win a job as the right-handed half of a first-base platoon. Last season, his wife, Bethany, battled cancer after a molar pregnancy, an emotionally draining situation that he kept quiet even from teammates for most of the year.
"I guess going through some of the stuff I've gone through in the past has helped me deal with this a little bit easier," Phillips said. "I'm pleased I was able to come up here and contribute and help the team get back in the race. I feel good about that. But it's disappointing."
Big G still loose: With Phillips out of the Yankees' first-base mix, Jason Giambi may be in line to see even more regular duty in the field.
Giambi started at first base again on Monday, a move made to put the slugger's bat in the lineup against Seattle starter Felix Hernandez, but playing the field has not been foreign for Giambi. Five of his last six starts had come at first base leading into Monday's game, serving as a designated hitter just once.
Yankees manager Joe Torre said he was not concerned about wearing Giambi down with regular duty. After serving a two-month stint on the disabled list with a left foot injury, Giambi -- batting .236 with five homers and seven RBIs since returning -- has raved about his custom-made orthotic inserts and claims to be physically fresher.
"He's had no problems," Torre said. "In the past, before he got attended to, there were times we'd put him out there and in the fifth inning, that was about it. But he's gone out there and played a couple of full games and hasn't had any physical problems at all."
A little backup: With Roger Clemens handling blisters on his pushoff foot and a bout with arm weariness, the Yankees planned to have Mike Mussina accompany the Rocket to the bullpen, just in case.
"I think we have to rely on Roger," Torre said before the game. "At 45 years old, he certainly understands the importance, not only of this game, but the importance of the rest of the season."
It ended up being a moot point, as Clemens proclaimed himself good to go and retired the side in the first inning around an Ichiro Suzuki single. But the Yankees' question now is, how can they get Mussina back in the mix, particularly with off-days on Thursday and Monday muddling the situation?
"We have to figure out how we're going to go about that," Torre said.
The Yankees want to see Ian Kennedy at least once more coming off his seven-inning performance against the Devil Rays on Saturday, but they also recognize that Mussina needs to be involved, somehow. Mussina has not pitched since the Yankees' 16-0 loss at Detroit last Monday, when he allowed six runs and nine hits in three innings.
Torre said he would hate to dismiss Mussina after three bad starts, especially when considering the package of Mussina's full season. The idea of a six-man rotation down the stretch has not been ruled out, and pitching coach Ron Guidry is expected to be consulted.
One for the ages: Monday's matchup between Clemens (45 years, 30 days old) and Hernandez (21 years, 148 days old) had an age difference of 23 years and 247 days.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the largest difference between opposing starters in the big leagues since April 16, 1994, when the Marlins' Charlie Hough faced the Giants' Salomon Torres with a difference of 24 years, 66 days.
Coming up: The Yankees continue their series with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, sending right-hander Chien-Ming Wang (16-6, 3.79 ERA) to the mound against left-hander Horacio Ramirez (8-4, 6.55 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET on the YES Network.