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Tampa Bay at New York

Devil Rays at Yankees, ppd.

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte's return to the Yankees was pushed back a day because of rain, while Johnny Damon's injured calf left him unsure when he'll play again.

The scheduled game between New York and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Wednesday afternoon was postponed, washing out what would have been Pettitte's first start in pinstripes since the 2003 World Series.

"It's definitely disappointing because you're ready. You want to get this day over with because you're so excited for it to get here," Pettitte said. "I'm obviously anxious to get out there."

No makeup date was announced. After the series finale Thursday night, Tampa Bay isn't slated to visit Yankee Stadium again until July 20.

Both scheduled starters were bumped back one day, so Pettitte will pitch against Jae Seo on Thursday night. Temperatures in the low 30s are expected, with gusting winds.

"Bundle up," Pettitte said.

It sounds as though Damon won't be behind him in center field. New York's speedy leadoff hitter has a sore right calf and wasn't in the posted lineup Wednesday.

"I could barely walk," Damon said. "It felt like cramps the other day, but it's definitely much worse than that."

Damon left Monday's opening victory over Tampa Bay with cramps in both calves, but said Wednesday only the right one was still bothering him. In the clubhouse, he had his right calf wrapped.

"We're probably dealing with a strain, but to what degree we don't know yet," general manager Brian Cashman said. "No bruising. It's not swollen. But it's sore."

Melky Cabrera was slated to start in center field Wednesday, and second baseman Robinson Cano was in the leadoff spot.

Cabrera will fill in for Damon until he returns. If Damon has to go on the disabled list, the Yankees would probably call up an outfielder from the minors. But after talking with team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon, Cashman said a stint on the DL was "not something that's being recommended right now."

No tests on Damon were planned yet. First, Hershon wants to see how Damon feels Thursday, Cashman said.

The GM was asked if an injury to Damon might open up a spot for former outfielder Bernie Williams on the major league roster. Cashman had a one-word answer: "No."

Williams, a longtime stalwart and fan favorite, declined New York's offer of a minor league contract in the offseason and never came to spring training.

Yankees manager Joe Torre said he's comfortable with Cabrera, who received plenty of playing time as a rookie last season because of injuries to fellow outfielders Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield. Cabrera batted .280 with seven homers, 50 RBI and 26 doubles in 460 at-bats. He also scored 75 runs and stole 12 bases while playing excellent defense, especially in left field.

"Obviously, if it doesn't start to get better, we'll become more concerned," Torre said, referring to Damon. "We're certainly confident in Melky's ability. The fact that he played as a regular player for us last year, I feel pretty good about that."

Mike Mussina is to start Friday night for New York against the Baltimore Orioles. It will be his first outing in a week.

"I hope it doesn't affect too much," Mussina said. "I haven't been out there every fifth day yet."

Kei Igawa will make his Yankees debut Saturday and Darrell Rasner will pitch Sunday. Carl Pavano will start a game in Minnesota next week, Torre said. That would likely be Monday.

The Devil Rays pushed all their scheduled starters back one day. James Shields will pitch the home opener Friday night against Toronto, followed by Casey Fossum on Saturday and opening day starter Scott Kazmir on Sunday.

But first, they have to get through another chilly day in New York.

"The end of spring training was so good. We're in a tough moment right now with the weather and who we're playing," manager Joe Maddon said. "We'll come back tomorrow and put our long johns on and get after it."

Notes

LHP Ron Villone, cut by the Yankees at the end of spring training, agreed to a minor league deal with the club and was set to report to Triple-A Scranton. "Ronnie was an important member of this team last year," Cashman said. "I think he's still got a lot to give. It improves our choices and gives him a little more time to get it going." Villone was 3-3 with a 5.04 ERA in 70 appearances for New York last season. He walked 51 batters in 80 1/3 innings. ... Yankees RHP Chien-Ming Wang (right hamstring) played catch and ran sprints at the team's complex in Tampa, Fla. "Making progress. No problems," he said. Torre said perhaps Wang could have some sort of simulated game situation this weekend. ... RHP Jeff Karstens (stiff right elbow) had a bullpen session and said he will throw to hitters Saturday. That lines him up to possibly pitch in a minor league game next week.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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