Tests on Cervelli's left foot inconclusive
Backup catcher exits Yanks' contest against Astros early
TAMPA, Fla. -- The MRI exam of Francisco Cervelli's injured left foot came back inconclusive after the Yankees catcher was forced to leave Wednesday's 6-5 win over the Astros.
Cervelli was limping in New York's clubhouse and had his foot lightly wrapped after being examined by the Yankees' medical staff. Cervelli had fouled a ball off his foot while batting in the second inning against Houston's Bud Norris, and he was removed an inning later.
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Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Cervelli's CT scan came back clean, but doctors wanted more time to review the MRI, fearing a hairline fracture. Cervelli is expected to miss at least the next two days of workouts.
"I think every Spring Training, something happens, but it's OK," Cervelli said. "It's part of the game."
Cervelli is in a three-headed battle with Jesus Montero and Austin Romine to serve as the backup for Russell Martin. While Jorge Posada is also in camp, the Yankees view him more as an emergency third catcher, though Girardi said that Posada does have his gloves just in case.
"They're broken in, ready to go," Girardi said.
Spring Training and Cervelli haven't agreed much, historically. In March 2008, Cervelli had his right wrist broken in a controversial collision at home plate with the Rays' Elliot Johnson, which drew Girardi's ire and knocked Cervelli out of action until June.
Cervelli was also hit in the head with a pitch last March by Zech Zinicola of the Blue Jays and was diagnosed with a concussion. That was a point of concern for the Yankees, as Cervelli had also been clipped in the head with a backswing during winter ball, causing another concussion.
Cervelli said that he is not worried about this latest spring injury being worse than a bruise.
"I don't think it's anything bad," Cervelli said. "It's just sore."
Tweaked mechanics treating Joba well
TAMPA, Fla. -- Joba Chamberlain's velocity has been better than the Yankees expected it would be this early in camp, and he may have a slight mechanical adjustment to thank for it.
Manager Joe Girardi said he believes that Chamberlain's velocity has been helped by moving his hands back to his belt instead of keeping them at his chest for his windup -- back to the form that worked for the right-hander as a phenom when he was called up in 2007.
Chamberlain said that he has been thinking a lot about 2007, when he dominated Major League hitters with a 0.38 ERA over 24 innings. Because of that, he started throwing earlier this winter, hoping to replicate his preparation.
"My first year, when my velocity was good, it was because I never really stopped playing catch," Chamberlain said. "I wanted to take that and try to use that, because it helped."
Chamberlain threw a scoreless fourth inning in Wednesday's 6-5 win over the Astros, pitching around singles by Jason Michaels and Bill Hall by inducing an inning-ending double play from Brett Wallace.
"It was nice to get some runners on, to get out of the stretch and have anxiety," Chamberlain said. "To be able to get down in the zone and get a ground ball, that's always a good sign."
In many ways, Brackman keeps growing
TAMPA, Fla. -- If Andrew Brackman looks a little taller than his listed height of 6-foot-10, it's because he is.
Brackman, 25, said that his Yankees physical revealed that he actually grew another inch during the offseason, so his listed height should be changed to 6-11.
Not that the difference was a complete surprise to Brackman, the tallest pitcher in a camp that includes eight pitchers measuring 6-5 or taller.
"I was hanging around with a few of my friends, and they said I looked taller," Brackman said. "I didn't believe them, but we got out the tape measure and, sure enough, I was."
Brackman said that his biggest height increase came during his sophomore and junior years at Moeller High School in Cincinnati, when he shot up five to six inches. He had been barely six feet tall as a freshman.
"The whole time, I was just kind of hoping it would stop," Brackman said.
If officially listed at 6-foot-11, Brackman will tie current Blue Jays right-hander Jon Rauch for the title of tallest player in Major League history once he appears in a regular-season game.
Still looking for a comfort zone with his no-stride stance, Derek Jeter (1-for-3) lined out to center field in the third inning on Wednesday and singled to center field in the fifth. ... Catcher Russell Martin is wearing what he called a "super-light" brace on his right knee for injury prevention. Martin is slated to serve as the designated hitter again on Thursday against the Rays and has been scheduled to catch on Friday night against the Red Sox. ... Greg Golson went through batting practice without incident on Wednesday and will play on Thursday. Golson has not played since he was hit in the head by an A.J. Burnett pitch on Sunday. ... Mariano Rivera is set to begin throwing batting practice next week. Rafael Soriano is even closer to facing hitters. ... There was a good reason why Yogi Berra seemed to be in a hurry for Wednesday's game to end. Ron Guidry was set to prepare frog legs in Cajun garlic sauce, one of Berra's annual spring delights.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.