Notes: Posada won't need surgery
Small may start for Wright; Crosby to make rehab stint soon
NEW YORK -- There's no plan at the present time to place Jorge Posada on the disabled list, and the injured catcher said he was told that he won't need surgery once this season is complete.
Posada underwent an MRI exam on his left knee Thursday that revealed a torn hamstring tendon.
That finding sounds worse than it really is, but Posada isn't likely to be available at all in the three-game series the Yankees began against the Royals at Yankee Stadium on Friday night.
The Yankees called up catcher Koyie Hill from Triple-A Columbus and he arrived in time to back up Kelly Stinnett on Friday. To make room for Hill on the roster, the Yankees optioned left-hander Matt Smith to Columbus. The Yankees also moved pitcher Tanyon Sturtze, who is out for the season, from the 15-day to the 60-day DL in order to make room for Hill on the 40-man roster.
"It's just freaky," said Posada. "It didn't happen because of catching. That's the good part about it. It just happened because of a freak accident. It happens when you run. It just happened. I don't know what caused it."
Posada will be fitted with a pad to wear behind his left knee. He was told that that he'll have to play with some degree of pain for the remainder of the season.
The veteran catcher, who is batting .303 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in 38 games, said the tough part will be sitting on the bench and watching.
"Sitting down and knowing you have no chance to help the team out is tough," Posada said. "But it's early, and I understand it's early and we are trying to get to October. That is important to everybody.
"The easy part is I'm not going to miss an extended number of games. I'm lucky in what tendon it is, and hopefully soon I'll go out there and play."
The veteran catcher said he was worried about his leg until the results of the MRI exam were revealed.
"I was worried the way I was walking around and the way I was feeling before I went into the MRI, but after I went in to the MRI it was easier," Posada said, adding that the doctor told him the tendon isn't used much when a person is running. "It's not going to go away. It's going to be painful for a while. Obviously I'm going to play with some pain at times."
The backups: Stinnett and Hill grew up in the Lawton, Okla., area and used to hit together in the offseason. The two were teammates with the Diamondbacks for a time last season.
"We're from the same turf," Stinnett said. "Me and Butch Huskey, when we were with the Mets, had a place where we used to go hit in the offseason and [Hill would] show up now and then and hit with us when he was just a snotty-nosed high school kid."
So, who did Hill learn more about hitting from, Huskey or Stinnett?
"I don't even remember," Stinnett said with a smile. "We just cranked up the pitching machine and hit all night. Butch would know more about hitting. My role is to catch."
However, Hill said Stinnett has been great to him.
"It's easy for me and him to get along because we're from the same place," Hill said.
Hill said he was splitting the catching duties with Wil Nieves at Columbus. The Clippers had their game stopped by rain after four innings on Thursday, and Hill got the word he'd be on his way to New York.
"Whatever happened I don't think that either one of us was going out trying to get four hits, because they might call on us," Hill said. "Like I said, whatever is going to happen is going to happen. I was unaware what the situation with Posada was."
The Wright plan: Yankees manager Joe Torre said he was leaning toward having Aaron Small start in place of the injured Jaret Wright on Sunday and having Wright pitch next on Monday.
Wright tweaked his groin in his last start and Torre doesn't want the right-hander, who the team feels is making great progress pitching-wise, to suffer any serious setbacks. Wright is 2-3 with a 4.18 ERA in seven games (six starts).
"A lot of it has to do with where we feel he is now," Torre said. "Pitching in the bullpen and in a game, you use different energy. The last thing we want to do is have Jaret suffer a setback."
Wright was to throw a bullpen session on Friday.
Crosby update: Torre said that outfielder Bubba Crosby, placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring on May 19, may be sent on a rehabilitation assignment in three to four days.
Face in the crowd: Golfer Tiger Woods was in attendance Friday.
Sad state: Johnny Damon, who grew up rooting for the Royals, was selected by Kansas City in the first round of the 1992 First-Year Player Draft and spent the first six years of his Major League career with the team, is sad to see the team in the state it's in today.
"Unfortunately, they haven't been able to keep the players when they had a chance," Damon said. "Their payroll hasn't allowed them to."
Damon said he's not sure why his old team was struggling with a 10-35 record at gametime on Friday.
"We hope they continue their struggle for another three or four days," Damon said.
Coming up: Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who lost his last start after winning his two prior outings, tries to get back on the winning track when the Yankees host Jeremy Affeldt and the Royals on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET.
Kit Stier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.