Pettitte scheduled for appearance in spring finale

The Sports Xchange
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--LHP Andy Pettitte will pitch against the Mets in the April 4 spring training finale, his first game action since ending his one-year retirement. Pettitte is due to throw one inning at Steinbrenner Field. The 39-year-old veteran, who agreed to a minor league contract March 16, could join the Yankees in May.

If Pettitte is added to the major league roster, he will earn a one-year, $2.5 million contract. He last played in 2010, going 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA and making the All-Star team.

--LHP Cesar Cabral, a Rule 5 pick, suffered a stress fracture on the tip of his left elbow while pitching on March 30. Cabral, who was likely going to make the team as a second lefty in the bullpen, will be out three to six months. Clay Rapada likely will claim the roster spot as the second lefty.

--RHP Michael Pineda will open the season on the 15-day disabled list after being diagnosed with right shoulder tendinitis following his final start of the spring. Pineda's velocity had been down all spring, but the 23-year-old never complained of pain or discomfort until March 30, when he was knocked around for six runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Phillies. The Yankees plan to be conservative with Pineda's rehab plan, leaving his potential return date unclear.

--C Craig Tatum was claimed off waivers by the Yankees from the Diamondbacks on March 28. Arizona had claimed him off waivers from Houston in January. Tatum, 29, hit .245 with seven RBI in 31 games with Baltimore last season. He has played in 100 major league games over the last three seasons with Cincinnati and Baltimore, hitting .223/.291/.264 with one homer and 22 RBI.

--RHP Joba Chamberlain said March 27 he expects to pitch for the Yankees this season despite the serious foot injury he sustained the previous week.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since he was hurt while jumping on a trampoline with his son, Chamberlain said the injury was never life-threatening nor was there any danger of having his foot amputated, as some reports suggested.

"One of those things that bothered me, people calling me asking me if it was life-threatening and that I was going to lose my foot," Chamberlain said. "There was no bone out of my ankle. It bothered me to have my family go through that. I broke no bones. I didn't dislocate my ankle. Nothing was out of the skin. I didn't lose a lot of blood, contrary to what people wrote. It wasn't life-threatening and I wasn't planning on losing my foot. Basically, when you rolled your ankle the skin just went."

Chamberlain said it was an open dislocation of the subtalar joint in the heel area of the right foot.

Before the accident, Chamberlain had set June as his target time to return from Tommy John surgery.

"I am going to continue to work hard to be ahead of schedule or right on schedule," Chamberlain said. "Obviously there are a lot of things that have to happen before that -- the mere fact that what we have been told, no broken bones. I don't have to worry about running the bases, so that is another thing that goes along with this. I think there is a great chance of that definitely happening."

Chamberlain's foot is in tube-like cast, and he was treated with antibiotics to ward off infection.

--RHP Phil Hughes has been engaged in a competition for a rotation spot all spring, but that's nothing new for the 25-year-old. While veterans work on specific things without caring as much about results, Hughes has been very results-oriented, treating each start as if it was the regular season. "I just try to go out every five days and pitch as well as I can, that's really it," Hughes said. "I don't try to think too much into it." Hughes has been pleased with the improvement of his changeup, which was one of his goals heading into camp.

BY THE NUMBERS
3 -- The Yankees will have three players 40 or older on their roster later this season after the return of Andy Pettitte. Raul Ibanez and Pettitte will both turn 40 in June, while Mariano Rivera is already 42.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's weird to say, but I feel like I never left." -- LHP Andy Pettitte, on his return to Yankees camp after sitting out the 2011 season for an abbreviated retirement.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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