Chavez on cusp of making return

Chavez on cusp of making return

NEW YORK -- Eric Chavez has not appeared in a game for the Yankees since early May, but the corner infielder could be back on the active roster as soon as Tuesday.


"There's a good chance we'll have him [Tuesday]," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after Monday's 10-3 win over the Mariners.

Chavez checked in at Yankee Stadium to be evaluated by the club's medical staff on Monday afternoon, and his time on a Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Tampa appears to be complete.

"Everything has been going good," Chavez said. "I'm just ready to get back at it."

Returning from a fractured left foot, Chavez started at third base on Monday for Tampa in Bradenton, Fla., and played a full nine innings, going 0-for-4 with four groundouts.

He had gone 7-for-21 (.333) in six starts for Tampa, three as a designated hitter. His return was delayed not only by the foot fracture, but also some back issues as well as a kidney stone.

"I don't know what caused it, but it seems to be fine," Chavez said. "I've still got the bad back history, and I've still got to worry about that. I'll just hold my breath for the next two months."

The Yankees are missing Alex Rodriguez from their lineup, and have been asking third-base duties of both Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Laird.

Chavez's name would enter that mix, and manager Joe Girardi said it wouldn't be the worst idea to allow Nunez an occasional day off. Chavez could also see time at first base if Mark Teixeira needs a day as the designated hitter.

"He's a pretty potent left-handed bat," Girardi said of Chavez. "We were fortunate that we were able to put Jorge [Posada] at first base, but we couldn't put Jorge at third base, necessarily. We have missed [Chavez] and it would be great to get him back."

Chavez entertained thoughts of retirement late in his injury-plagued tenure with the Athletics, and though he said the latest crop of injuries tested his spirits, Chavez never seriously thought about packing his bags and leaving the Yankees.

"I think with the back issues, it kind of crossed my mind, but once that happened I was able to recover from that pretty fast," Chavez said. "The thing that made it tough was just being away for a six-week period and then trying to get back into shape."