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08/14/10 7:42 PM ET

Pettitte feels better, but searching for answers

KANSAS CITY -- Though he threw all 50 of the pitches the Yankees wanted to see on Friday, Andy Pettitte said he never felt completely comfortable pushing off the rubber and going full-force toward home plate.

That was why Pettitte was sitting in an office at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday afternoon, waiting for an evaluation from head athletic trainer Gene Monahan and looking for some peace of mind to come with it.

"I feel really good today," Pettitte said. "I don't have a lot of soreness in my groin area right now. I just didn't feel real comfortable [Friday]. I didn't feel like I could push when I wanted to. I also feel like if I pushed it too hard yesterday, I'd be sore today, and I'm not."

Attempting to come back sooner than expected from a left groin strain suffered on July 19, Pettitte was working out at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., and received mixed signals from his body.

When he tried to increase the intensity of his pitches, Pettitte said, "I felt like it was saying, 'Don't do that.'" Pettitte believes it may just be scar tissue breaking up, or an after-effect from too much running in New York, but he would like to know for sure.

"The frustrating part is that I felt like I was ahead of schedule," Pettitte said. "Then I get on the mound and ... mound-wise I wasn't ahead of schedule. I just want to be healthy. I know I'm being cautious and the biggest thing for me is I want to make sure I'm not being too cautious."

The setback has wiped out any chance of Pettitte making a rehab start on Monday or Tuesday, as had been floated. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the new timetable could be for Pettitte to play catch on Tuesday and, depending on Monahan's recommendation, go back to the bullpen or a simulated game.

"We told him [it] was going to take time," Girardi said. "Whenever you take time off the mound, you have to get yourself back in shape. I knew that Andy was frustrated the first day, so I'm not surprised that five weeks later, he's still frustrated."

A-Rod puts in full day's work on 'half-day'

KANSAS CITY -- Alex Rodriguez slipped back into the designated hitter spot for the Yankees on Saturday, receiving a half-day at the office while his club plays through a lengthy stretch.

Rodriguez proceeded to blast three homers and drive in five runs in a 4-for-5 performance and now has eight hits in 24 at-bats so far on this road trip to Arlington and Kansas City, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he is continuing to try and find opportune times to rest his regulars.

"I know we need to give it to him," Girardi said. "You don't want to take any of your bats out of the lineup, but we need to do it or he's not going to be productive. We're going to wear him down. You saw last year he got worn down a little bit and we just can't afford to do it."

Also due for a break soon is shortstop Derek Jeter, even though he has hit safely in 13 of his past 16 games, batting .328 (22-for-67) over that span. The Yankees are playing 20 straight games from Aug. 6-25 and are in a stretch of 36 games in 37 days.

Yankees honored for HOPE Week

KANSAS CITY -- The Yankees are being recognized with an award for answering President Barack Obama's national call to serve initiative, honoring the organization's efforts with the upcoming HOPE Week.

In conjunction with the President's initiative United We Serve, the Yankees will be hosting a variety of events for one week across the New York metropolitan area. The Aug. 16-20 events will spotlight five remarkable stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their communities.

"I applaud the New York Yankees for honoring those who have selflessly committed to changing their communities for the better," said Patrick A. Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "These outstanding individuals and organizations are proof positive that service helps move America forward."

President Obama officially announced the second annual HOPE Week during an April 26 White House ceremony celebrating the Yankees' 2009 World Series championship.

Yankees ink five more Draft picks

KANSAS CITY -- The Yankees announced Saturday that they have signed five additional players from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, including second-round shortstop-outfielder Angelo Gumbs, who inked a contract with a $750,000 bonus on Friday.

Also joining the organization are third baseman Robert Segedin, a third-rounder, and right-hander Gabe Encinas, a sixth-rounder.

The Yankees have additionally inked 12th-round pick Daniel Burawa, a right-handed pitcher, and 30th-round selection Zachary Nuding, also a right-handed pitcher. The Yankees have now signed 23 players from their 2010 Draft class, including their top three picks, 10 of the top 13 and 16 of their top 24. Monday is the signing deadline.

Worth noting

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he now believes he may use right-hander Kerry Wood on back-to-back days. ... After right-hander Alfredo Aceves (lower back stiffness) threw 26 pitches for Double-A Trenton on Friday, the hurler has been slated to go again on Tuesday, scheduled to pitch three innings or 40 pitches. The Yankees don't believe Aceves needs to build up further than 40 pitches to return. ... Damaso Marte (left shoulder inflammation) is with the Yankees in Kansas City and will pitch from a half-mound Sunday. He has been on the disabled list since July 17.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.