ST LOUIS -- For another day, at least, Carlos Beltran has avoided surgery.
Beltran hasn't played since May 12, when he was forced to pull himself from the lineup in the late innings of a Subway Series game against the Mets at Yankee Stadium. He was diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow, which he said last week is an old injury.
On Monday, Beltran took 15 swings from each side of the plate at Yankee Stadium with a fungo bat. It went well enough that he will return to the batter's box on Tuesday with a regular bat for another 15 swings from each side.
With no ill effects, he could hit off a tee and from tosses on Thursday.
"The only way you can look at it is as a positive step, and you hope that when he comes in tomorrow, he feels good, and when he takes swings with the regular bat, he feels good," manager Joe Girardi said. "Then we can get to tee and toss on Thursday."
Girardi said that it's too early to tell if Beltran has avoided surgery. If Beltran were to undergo surgery to shave down the spur, he would miss approximately eight to 12 weeks.
"Obviously, he's going to have to get into some games for us to really know, and take all different kinds of swings," Girardi said. "There's a swing and a miss, probably, that he'll have to go through to see, when you get fully extended, how it reacts."
Teixeira out of lineup with stiffness in wrist
ST LOUIS -- First baseman Mark Teixeira was scratched from the lineup on Monday with stiffness in his surgically repaired right wrist.
Teixeira, 34, who has played in 35 games this season, hitting .248 with nine home runs, appeared in only 15 games in 2013 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a partially torn tendon shear in the wrist.
He began feeling some stiffness following the Yankees' extra-innings win on Saturday in Chicago, and he informed manager Joe Girardi on Monday at breakfast.
"Today his wrist is a little stiff," Girardi said. "It's been stiff the last few days, ever since the extra-inning game. Not something totally unexpected, but today he felt it was a little more stiff than it has been."
Girardi said Teixeira is day to day, adding that the team hasn't scheduled any tests.
"You're always a little bit concerned, but they said there would be stiffness throughout this process for a while. Today it's just a little bit more," Girardi said. "It could be from fatigue, that's what my thought process is.
"Hopefully, it's just one day he needs."
Phelps to fulfill dream pitching at Busch
ST LOUIS -- David Phelps found time on Sunday night to make a short commute home where, after five years, he finally had that pork steak for which he'd been longing.
It's good to be home.
The 27-year-old right-hander from Florissant, Mo., will fulfill a dream on Tuesday, when he makes his first career start against the Cardinals, the team he grew up admiring. It wasn't so long ago that Phelps listened and cheered as Albert Pujols hit a home run off Brad Lidge during the 2005 National League Championship Series in Houston.
"I remember being in the car listening to it and going nuts," Phelps said. "Going to games [at old Busch] with my parents growing up was something that really helped raise my appreciation for baseball."
Phelps attended five or six games each season at the first Busch Stadium. His third trip to the new ballpark will put him on the field for the first time, and on the other side.
"You grow up thinking about playing on this field," Phelps said from the visitors' locker room on Monday. "Obviously, you don't think about doing it in a Yankees' uniform, but it's really cool. You walk out and you see the Arch. There's small things like that that do make it fun."
Phelps was inserted into the Yankees' rotation on May 5 in place of the injured Michael Pineda. In four starts (22 1/3 innings) he has posted a 2.82 ERA .
His fifth start will come with the entirely new challenge of controlling his emotions. He will have his own fan club in attendance, as approximately 25 friends and family members will make their way to the ballpark to watch him pitch.
He's already talked to them about their allegiance.
"I told them, even when I come out of the game, you still have to root for the Yankees," he said. "A lot of my friends are like, 'I'm a Yankees fan for the six, seven innings you're in there, and then I stop.' I said, 'No, you can't do that.'"
Phelps made his first start in the Majors in Kansas City in 2012. The short commute allowed for a large contingent of family and friends then, too. In that start, he said, emotions got the best of him, and he allowed two runs in four innings.
That's why he plans to treat Tuesday like any other start, as hard as that might be.
"There's a lot of emotions that go into it," he said. "Driving in to the stadium today, I couldn't help but smile. At the end of the day, if you try and make too much of it, it's going to get the best of you. You have to go out and stick to your routine."
Ryan thrilled to return to St. Louis
ST LOUIS -- Shortstop Brendan Ryan's return to St. Louis was a bit delayed, but it finally came on Monday, when the Yankees opened a three-game series against the Cardinals.
Ryan, who made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2007, was traded from Seattle to New York last September, two days before the Mariners were set to arrive in St. Louis. A year later, Ryan finally made his return, albeit on the other side.
"Even just the ride from the airport to the hotel brings back some memories," Ryan said. "This is where it all obviously started for me."
Ryan, who got his first hit with St. Louis, fondly remembers clinching the National League Central in 2009, when the team was in Colorado.
Ryan, 32, spent four seasons in St. Louis, hitting .259 in 415 games before he was traded to Seattle following the 2009 season. The city has remained a special place for him.
"I feel like there was a connection there with the fans, and they were so good to me," he said. "I felt very lucky to come up with St. Louis and get a chance there. Whether it was the hustle or getting a bunt down or whatever it was, they always seemed to be behind me. I'll never be able to thank them enough for that."
Ryan has appeared in 10 games this season for the Yankees, hitting .357.
Sanchez raps four hits for Trenton
Gary Sanchez, the Yankees' No. 1 prospect, collected four hits on Monday, and Peter O'Brien tied the Minor League lead with his 18th home run as Double-A Trenton scored seven unanswered runs in a come-from-behind 13-9 victory at Richmond.
Sanchez, who is also ranked 39th on MLBPipeline.com's list of Top 100 Prospects, went 4-for-6 with a double, a run and two RBIs.
Though Sanchez has struggled in May (he was hitting .175 entering the day), he may be coming out of his slump. Monday was his second four-hit game in three days, and he went 9-for-15 during the series against the Flying Squirrels. In 42 games this season, he is hitting .259/.326/.414 with five home runs.
O'Brien entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning and drove a home run to left field, tying him with Rangers' No. 4 prospect Joey Gallo. O'Brien is hitting .299/.321/.684 in 46 games this season.
O'Brien began the season at Class A Advanced Tampa, and he hit 10 home runs in 30 games there before being promoted to Trenton on May 9. He has continued his barrage with the Thunder, hitting eight home runs in 16 games. Since his promotion he has shared time with Sanchez behind the plate and also seen time in right field and as the designated hitter.
Center fielder Mason Williams, the Yankees' No. 2 prospect and No. 63 overall, went 1-for-4 with two walks and two runs on Monday.
• Pineda remains on schedule to throw two innings in an extended spring game at the club's complex in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday. Pineda hasn't pitched in a Major League game since April 23. He first served a 10-game suspension, then missed time with a strained muscle in his upper back.
• Reliever Shawn Kelley threw from 75 feet on Monday and reported no issues. He has been on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff lower back and hasn't pitched since May 6.
Alex Halsted and Teddy Cahill are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.