BALTIMORE -- A pair of hospital bracelets dangled from Chris Dickerson's right wrist on Thursday, a keepsake from an early-morning visit to the emergency room, though they were hardly the most conspicuous souvenirs from a frightening hit-by-pitch.
Dickerson sported a welt near his left eye and a small gash on his forehead as he returned to the Yankees, having been drilled in the batting helmet by a Mike Gonzalez fastball in the 15th inning of Wednesday's 4-1 New York win over Baltimore.
"It could have been so much worse," Dickerson said. "Every time I look at the replay, if you don't look down just in time, it hits you right in the face -- right square in the eye. I just feel extremely fortunate today."
Doctors said that a CT scan showed a slight concussion, although the Yankees did not have immediate plans to place Dickerson on Major League Baseball's new seven-day disabled list for concussions.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he would stay away from using Dickerson on Thursday but expected him to be available for Friday's Subway Series opener against the Mets.
"He is doing OK," Girardi said. "The results came back good, and he's just going to be day to day. He said he felt pretty good last night. I talked to him today. He said he had a headache, but he felt OK."
Dickerson spoke with Gonzalez on the field before Thursday's game, accepting the hurler's apology. Though Gonzalez was immediately ejected, Dickerson said he did not believe he was being thrown at by the lefty, who had just given up a go-ahead two-run double to Robinson Cano.
"Absolutely not," Dickerson said. "He threw two great pitches to start off the at-bat, two great curveballs. If you're going to retaliate for something like that, you're going to do it first pitch."
Dickerson said that after coming out of Wednesday's game, he saw a replay in the Yankees' clubhouse and even asked medical personnel to wait a few moments so he could review it for himself.
"You hear the sound, and I think it's when it really hits you," Dickerson said. "It's scary, hearing that helmet snap and looking over at the broken helmet."
With Teixeira at DH, Posada plays first
BALTIMORE -- About an hour before the scheduled first pitch of Thursday's game between the Yankees and Orioles, Jorge Posada emerged from the tunnel in the third-base dugout at Camden Yards and hustled out to first base, taking a few extra grounders.
Pressed into duty at a spot that is still unfamiliar, Posada would take all the help he could get. The 39-year-old shuffled and accepted throws from Derek Jeter and Eduardo Nunez, preparing for a rare start in the infield.
"It's not easy," said Posada. "You've just got to think a little bit more. It's something you have to think about, every play."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he thought Thursday would be an opportunity to get Posada in the field for the first time this year, as well as to give Mark Teixeira a half-day off as a designated hitter.
"He might love it when he gets out there, and if that's the case, then that's a good thing," Girardi said. "But this was a result of Tex needing a day. I felt Jorge would do a good job over there."
Posada had played 28 previous games at first base, making 15 starts. His most recent experience at first base was on July 10, 2008, when he played the position against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Posada's last start at first in an American League game also came in Baltimore on April 19, 2008.
Since Eric Chavez went on the disabled list earlier this month, Posada has been taking more grounders at first base in early work.
Posada played two Spring Training games at first this year as well and said the most challenging part is juggling throws from the outfield.
"I would say the cutoff, where to be with runners on base, where you have to be if it's a double -- it's challenging," Posada said. "You have to think about it before the play starts. It keeps you in the game."
Posada ripped two hits, including a double, in his last action, on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. That raised his average to .179 from .165, and Posada believes his season will continue to turn.
"I have been feeling a lot better, to tell you the truth," Posada said. "I've been working with [hitting coach Kevin Long], trying to stay behind the ball a little bit more and adjusting to what they're trying to do. I'm really having good at-bats, and that's all that counts now."
Mazzilli will assist Yankees at Draft
BALTIMORE -- Once plucked from the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y., as a promising young outfield prospect, Lee Mazzilli will have a role in helping to select this year's Yankees of the future.
Mazzilli has been assigned to serve as the club's representative for this year's First-Year Player Draft, where he will pull up a chair and phone in each pick as scouting director Damon Oppenheimer and his team work down the Draft board.
The 56-year-old Mazzilli is currently employed as an advisor in the Yankees organization following a 14-year big league career that included 37 games for the Bombers during the 1982 season.
Mazzilli was selected by the Mets in the first round of the 1973 Draft after graduating from Brooklyn's Lincoln High School. He said that taking part in a pre-Draft workout at Yankee Stadium was one of the early highlights of his career.
"I was very fortunate," Mazzilli said. "I got to play a game in Yankee Stadium, and for me, that was probably of my biggest thrills.
"To go out and play center field at Yankee Stadium and look around and see what was there -- and, hopefully, one day, that I was going to get to the big leagues."
That dream will be alive and well for countless high school and college athletes next month, as they wait to hear if their names will be called by a big league team.
Live coverage of the 2011 Draft will begin with a one-hour preview show on Monday, June 6, at 6 p.m. ET on MLB.com and MLB Network, followed by the first round and supplemental compensation round.
MLB.com will provide exclusive coverage on Days 2 and 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player.
Noesi's first win comes with a chore
BALTIMORE -- Hector Noesi's hands were full as he left Camden Yards after midnight ET on Thursday, having been given the lineup card to commemorate his first Major League win, but his wallet is about to be a little bit lighter.
Robinson Cano told Noesi that he owed him dinner for delivering the big hit in the Yankees' 15-inning, 4-1 victory over the Orioles, a two-run double to right-center off lefty Mike Gonzalez.
"I told him in the dugout," Cano said. "I said, 'This is your first win, so you've got to buy me dinner now.' He said, 'OK, Saturday.' I said, 'You've got to take me to one of those special places.'"
Consider it a bit of friendly rookie hazing. Cano is earning $10 million this year and can afford to pick up his own tabs; Noesi's pay stub is close to the big league minimum.
"He came to me and said, 'That's for you,'" Noesi shrugged. "'You've got to take me to dinner.'"
Noesi said he wasn't tired as the game went to the 15th inning and even believed he could have gone further if asked.
The Yankees might have needed more from Noesi -- they had Dave Robertson warming briefly in the top of the 15th, but manager Joe Girardi wanted to stay away from the right-hander at all costs after using him in three out of four days.
"I was going down to be prepared for this," Noesi said. "They called me up, and [you] just do what you need to do."
Only in emergencies will Jorge catch
BALTIMORE -- Manager Joe Girardi was out of the Yankees' dugout in a flash to protect Alex Rodriguez in the 13th inning of Wednesday's affair, trying to save his player from ejection by home-plate umpire Dan Bellino.
Girardi got there in the nick of time, keeping Rodriguez in the game at third base even after arguing a called third strike. But if A-Rod had been ejected, the Yankees might have had the perfect storm to put Jorge Posada back behind the plate.
Russell Martin could have gone to third base, with Posada catching, Girardi said.
"It probably would have been my first thought, and we would have seen how it went," Girardi said. "Or maybe you put [Mark Teixeira] at third and Jorge at first."
As it turned out, Posada was held out for an absolute emergency -- the last remaining position player on the bench. Even when Chris Dickerson left the game after being hit on the helmet, pitcher A.J. Burnett pinch-ran instead of Posada.
Posada has not caught a single inning this year, and the Yankees spoke this spring of their concerns about the number of concussions he has suffered during his long career. However, Posada said he was ready if needed.
"It would have been one of those things where you hop in there in the heat of the moment," Posada said. "You hope nothing happens to anyone, but you are the third catcher. I think I was ready."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Alex Rodriguez could have a brief checkup on his right hip on Thursday. A-Rod has said that he feels no discomfort, but hitting coach Kevin Long suggested it to cover all bases. ... Wednesday marked Mariano Rivera's second blown save in as many chances against the Orioles, and the third time in his career he has had back-to-back blown saves against a team in a season. The other two times came against the Red Sox: July 27 and Sept. 17, 2004; April 5 and 6, 2005. ... The Yankees did not consider promoting a pitcher after Hector Noesi's four relief innings on Wednesday. Girardi said the team would be able to get distance out of Amauri Sanit on Thursday if needed.