Notes: Damon likely to sit in SF
Stick work helping Igawa; idle Henn sent back to Triple-A
SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Damon has been told that he will not be starting in any of the team's games this weekend at AT&T Park, one more foreboding sign that the disabled list looms likelier by the day.Damon, 33, has been ailed recently by a strained abdominal muscle, though he was given a start Thursday at Colorado after reporting improvement. Yankees manager Joe Torre said that late in the game, Damon wound up being slowed by yet another recurrence of the calf cramps that have slowed him at various points this season. Torre confirmed that Damon will not start, and Torre also said he would try to stay away from using Damon altogether at least until the Yankees return to American League rules on Tuesday at Baltimore. "We're going to play it out this weekend and just see if we can minimize the nuisance," Torre said. "We'll make a decision probably by the time we get home." If Damon would still not be available for use as a designated hitter by the Orioles series, he said he would go on the disabled list. The assignment would be the first of his career. "We're praying that it'll be OK [by Tuesday]," Damon said. "We'll see." Damon said he will be able to ride a stationary bicycle to keep his legs in shape while the club is in San Francisco, though he must not take batting practice to allow his abdominal muscles days to heal. Torre said that the disabled list has been suggested, but that "it's easy to say until you have to wait those two weeks." Meanwhile, Damon's troubles on the field hit an even more comical note during the series in Denver. As Damon prepared to pinch-hit against the Rockies, he said that a crown fell off a tooth in his mouth. "We had to super-glue it back in," Damon said. Tools of the trade: If you spot left-hander Kei Igawa handling a new toy in the Yankees' dugout, chances are he's playing with a stick. Seriously. Minor League pitching coach Gil Patterson explained that the stick is intended to help Igawa maintain his reconstructed pitching motion, helping him practice his balanced effort in the dugout between innings. "All it does is re-create the muscle memory so you can repeat, repeat, repeat, without any wear and tear on the arm," Patterson said. The new instrument was part of Igawa's training sessions through his six-start Minor League experience, including his four efforts at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in which he went 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.