NEW YORK -- Brian McCann is the first to acknowledge that his first two months in a Yankees uniform did not measure up to expectations, particularly on the offensive side, but he is hoping that will change as the schedule charges into June.
The Yankees' first free-agent target in a busy winter, McCann struggled mightily in the early stages of his Bronx debut. His .672 OPS entering play on Sunday ranked as the lowest of the 13 big league catchers with 150 or more at-bats this season.
"I feel like I need to get more hits," McCann said. "I just feel like I've been finding the barrel consistently. It's just I need to start hitting a little better."
McCann was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Twins, and hopes that he is showing signs of improving a split line that reads .232/.288/.344 coming into play on Sunday.
"That's the game plan," McCann said. "Just got to continue putting the barrel on the ball. Eventually they'll start finding holes."
McCann has seven homers and 24 RBIs, but he has had many hits taken away by aggressive defensive shifting. Manager Joe Girardi said that he believes McCann has fit in well with the Yankees.
"I think he's handled it really well," Girardi said. "I think he's been able to put the day behind him and just move on to the next day. I think when you look at his numbers, I think he's hit the ball a lot harder than his numbers indicate and that can be extremely frustrating for a player, but I think he's handled that pretty well."
Beltran set to play in extended spring game
NEW YORK -- The Yankees may have some help on the way for their sluggish offense. Carlos Beltran is traveling to Tampa, Fla., and has been scheduled to play in an extended spring training game on Monday, the team announced.
Beltran, 37, has not played since May 12 due to a bone spur in his right elbow that was treated with two cortisone injections. He has been taking batting practice at Yankee Stadium for several days and did not report discomfort after a hitting session on Sunday.
"We'll just go day by day to see where he's at and how his at-bats are, and when they deem that he's ready, we'll have him back," manager Joe Girardi said. "I don't imagine that it's going to be real, real long. I would hope that we'll see him fairly soon here."
If all goes as expected, Beltran could rejoin the Yankees later this week in time for a 10-game road trip that begins on Friday in Kansas City. Girardi said that the Yankees sent Beltran to their complex in Florida, rather than on a Minor League rehab assignment to Double-A or Triple-A, because of scheduling issues with the team's top farm clubs.
"Extended spring is real game action," Girardi said. "It's a guy with a baseball on the mound and guys behind him. ... The other thing is you can get him more at-bats at a quicker pace."
Pineda disappointed with latest setback
NEW YORK -- Michael Pineda expressed disappointment with his situation on Sunday, one day after an MRI showed more inflammation in a muscle behind his right shoulder.
"I feel sad. I have nothing to do," Pineda said. "I'm keeping my head up, continuing my work and that's it."
The Yankees plan to allow Pineda to rest for a brief period before trying to get him back on the mound. Pineda made four starts for the team this season but has not pitched since April 23, the game against the Red Sox in which he was ejected for having pine tar on his neck.
"I think the last time we shut him down 10 days before he picked up a baseball, and I'm sure it will be 10 days here, maybe a little more depending on what they feel," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's a doctor's call. It's not what we want. It's very similar to what he had about six weeks ago. It's unfortunate, but we'll try to get him going again."
With Pineda, CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova all on the disabled list, the Yankees are planning to push forward with a rotation comprised of Masahiro Tanaka, Chase Whitley, David Phelps, Hiroki Kuroda and Vidal Nuno.
Yanks offer condolences after passing of Katz
NEW YORK -- Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner issued a statement offering condolences to the family of Lewis Katz, a former owner of the New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils who died in a plane crash on Saturday evening in Bedford, Mass.
Katz, 72, was a co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, and had been a minority owner of the Yankees, as well as an investor in the YES Network. He bought the Nets in 1998 and sold the franchise in 2004.
"The New York Yankees are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Lewis Katz last night. We would like to express our deepest, heartfelt sympathies to his family," Steinbrenner said.
"Lewis was a minority owner of the Yankees and a valued, long-time friend and colleague to so many of us within the organization. We will cherish his sense of humor, intellect, and deep sense of philanthropy. Lewis had a huge heart and was always there when someone needed help. He will forever be remembered."
A moment of silence honoring Katz was observed at Yankee Stadium prior to Sunday's game between the Yankees and Twins. Seven people died when Katz's Gulfstream IV plane crashed as it was leaving Hanscom Field, bound for Atlantic City, N.J. There were no survivors.
• The Yankees will wait until Tuesday to determine if Mark Teixeira (right wrist inflammation) is ready to return to the lineup, but Girardi said that does not necessarily mean they will decide whether Teixeira should be placed on the disabled list.
"Tuesday we're facing a lefty [the A's Scott Kazmir], and obviously we've felt that it's bothered him more facing a right-hander than a left-hander," Girardi said. "So we'll see where he's at Tuesday."
• With Teixeira unavailable, Girardi said that he believes Kelly Johnson is capable of handling defensive duties at first base. The Yankees have also tried McCann and Brendan Ryan at the position.
"I have a number of guys who are candidates, it's just a matter of who I decide to put there," Girardi said. "As I've said all along, I think Kelly's capable of handling it."
• Francisco Cervelli (right hamstring strain) has been running, taking batting practice and catching, and is "pretty close" to playing in Minor League games, according to Girardi. Cervelli was placed on the 60-day disabled list on April 15, retroactive to April 14, and John Ryan Murphy has been playing well as the backup catcher.
"We'll figure out what we're going to do in that situation, how we're going to use the guys and go from there," Girardi said. "Hopefully, the decision isn't easy for me -- that's always the worst part of it -- but Cervy was playing extremely well and gives us a lot of flexibility."
• On this date in 1925, Lou Gehrig began his record streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, pinch-hitting for Pee Wee Wanninger in a 5-3 loss to Washington at Yankee Stadium.