NEW YORK -- Before Friday's 14-7 loss to the White Sox, Yankees catcher Russell Martin felt as good as he has since Saturday, when his back stiffness first popped up, but he remained out of the starting lineup.
"The last time he told me he felt good, I don't think he was quite 100 percent," said manager Joe Girardi. "Maybe tomorrow or the next day [Martin will return]."
Girardi inserted Martin as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning on Friday, and the manager does not expect the catcher's pain to be an issue he'll need to manage throughout the rest of the season.
Martin has dealt with stiffness or tenderness in his lower back every day since he first felt it during batting practice at Citi Field. There was no discomfort on Friday, although the catcher admittedly met with the media right after receiving treatment and prior to taking swings, which irritates him the most.
"I feel pretty good right now," Martin said. "I think tomorrow will be the day that I'm back in the lineup and back to stay in the lineup."
Wise gets final two outs of rout for Yankees
NEW YORK -- Dewayne Wise did his part to save the Yankees' bullpen for at least one night, but manager Joe Girardi anticipates making a roster move before Saturday's matinee to bring some relief help to New York.
Wise, a reserve outfielder, recorded the final two outs of Friday's 14-7 Yankees loss to the White Sox, which saw Girardi lean on his bullpen for 6 2/3 innings following the brief Major League debut of starter Adam Warren. Girardi had right-hander Cody Eppley warming in the ninth as Chicago added to its lead, but he opted for Wise instead.
"[Eppley had] thrown two days in a row, and I just said, 'Forget it,'" Girardi said. "Maybe we can have him for tomorrow now."
Wise, the last remaining player on New York's bench, became the first position player to pitch for the Yankees since Nick Swisher threw a scoreless inning in a 15-5 loss to Tampa Bay in April 2009. Wise, a left-handed thrower, got Paul Konerko to fly out and forced Alex Rios into a fielder's choice to end the ninth inning.
Wise played with Konerko for two seasons in Chicago but said catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who was up after Rios, was the former teammate he wanted to face most.
"I would've loved to try to strike him out," said Wise, who last pitched during his sophomore year at Chapin High School in South Carolina.
Wise said he always wanted to pitch in a blowout at some point in his career but is not eager to do it again. He admitted to battling nervousness but enjoyed watching his one 65-mph changeup float across home plate after averaging 80 mph on his fastballs.
"I was real nervous, especially when Rios came up," Wise said. "For some reason, I just thought he was going to hit the ball right back at me. I just tried to throw not too hard, and hopefully they'd be out in front of the ball and get out."
When able, Phelps hopes to start for Yanks
NEW YORK -- After spending the past two weeks in Tampa, Fla., to stretch out his arm and return to his role as a starter, right-hander David Phelps found himself back in the Yankees' bullpen for Friday's game against the White Sox.
The Yankees recalled Phelps from Class A Advanced Tampa and optioned right-hander Ryota Igarashi, who spent one day in New York, to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Phelps made two starts and 11 relief appearances earlier this season with the Yankees, but he returns as a long man, with Freddy Garcia shifting to the rotation.
Phelps may not have started Friday's game -- a 14-7 loss -- but in relief, he lasted an inning longer than New York's starter, Adam Warren, who was making his Major League debut and surrendered six runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings.
"He's not built up to 100 pitches," manager Joe Girardi said of Phelps. "I can't tell you what's going to happen today or tomorrow or the next day, but right now, we'll use him as a long man."
General manager Brian Cashman said on Wednesday, when the Yankees placed starters CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the disabled list, that Phelps would be the top option to take a spot in the rotation if he were stretched out.
Phelps most recently threw 50 pitches in 3 1/3 scoreless innings for Tampa. His next start was supposed to last 75 pitches and four to five innings, and he was in line for a promotion to Triple-A once he made a five-inning start.
So the Yankees recalled Warren for Friday's start and moved Garcia from his role as a long reliever in the bullpen to Monday's starter against the Rays.
Phelps made his Major League debut earlier this season out of the bullpen, then made a pair of starts in early May, then returned the bullpen before the Yankees activated David Robertson from the DL and optioned Phelps to Tampa.
Phelps remains unsure of how his role will evolve in New York -- he took Garcia's spot in the rotation after the veteran struggled -- but he is not fazed by the prospect of moving between the bullpen and the rotation.
"This is obviously where I want to be," Phelps said. "It's nice to be back. The circumstances aren't ideal, obviously, and you never want to get called up at the expense of somebody getting hurt, but I'm going to be here to help the team in whatever role that might be."
Girardi defends cautious use of Robertson
NEW YORK -- David Robertson was unlikely to be available out of the bullpen on Friday night against the White Sox after pitching the previous two nights, manager Joe Girardi said, but closer Rafael Soriano would be available.
Robertson was part of a trio of relievers -- including Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada -- Girardi used in an attempt to navigate the ninth inning on Thursday against the White Sox with a two-run lead and no closer. Soriano had pitched four of the previous five days and was unavailable, and the bullpen blew the lead in a 4-3 loss.
Girardi planned to play matchups with the three pitchers, and had the inning gone according to plan, Robertson would have entered with two outs in the ninth. Girardi was cautious with the right-hander, who spent more than a month on the disabled list with a ribcage injury, and that contributed to his status on Friday.
"Not that he's shown any [signs] of being hurt, but I'm being a little cautious," Girardi said. "What did we miss him, a month? I don't want to miss him another six to eight weeks; I really don't. ... If it's a week to go in the season or a month, you're looking at a different scenario, but we have a long way to go."
The Yankees claimed 25-year-old right-hander Chris Schwinden off waivers from the Indians, for whom the pitcher appeared three times this season. Schwinden allowed 12 runs over 8 2/3 innings in a pair of starts and one relief appearance before Cleveland designated him for assignment. The Yankees optioned Schwinden to Triple-A.
On this date in 1947, the Yankees won their first of 19 consecutive games en route to a franchise-best winning streak. The club had winning streaks of 10 and five games this month and had already posted 19 June wins entering play on Friday. Another win this month would give New York its first 20-win month since a 21-7 showing in August 2009.
Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.