1. Rays

Polanco latest casualty for banged-up Phillies

Published Mar. 18, 2012

CLEARWATER — Another injury to an All-Star infielder left Phillies manager Charlie Manuel feeling a bit edgy.

3B Placido Polanco left after injuring his left ring finger diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt in Philadelphia's 4-3 win over a Blue Jays split squad Saturday. There was no word on the results of an X-ray.

The Phillies are already missing 1B Ryan Howard and 2B Chase Utley.

If Philadelphia has to play without any of their top players, Manuel doesn't want just anyone filling in.

"I don't want to hear 'body' (nonsense)," he said. "I want somebody in here who can play. Like we talk about winning the World Series, getting to the playoffs and winning the World Series. I don't particularly like that. Don't say 'body' to me. I not a mediocrity kind of guy."

UTLEY UPDATE: Utley, who hasn't played this spring because of a chronic knee condition, said he would like to play this week and hoped to be ready for opening day.

Yanks: Not a shock

TAMPA — Derek Jeter sensed that Andy Pettitte wanted to pitch again.

Three months shy of his 40th birthday, Pettitte ended his brief retirement Friday. The left-hander signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees with an invitation to spring training.

"I knew he was itching … thinking about it, but a lot of people say that," Jeter said.

The shortstop was a little surprised Pettitte decided to come back after not pitching last season.

"He retired mainly because he wanted to spent time with his family, but maybe Momma got tired of him a little bit," Jeter said, smiling. "He didn't talk about it at all last year, and then he started talking about it this year."

If Pettitte's comeback is successful and he is added to the major league roster, he would get a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

Pettitte said during a conference call Friday his desire to work is back. He has pitched in the majors for 16 seasons, 13 with the Yankees.

"It's great," Jeter said. "He'll add to our team on the field, off the field. Andy's just a good person."

Pettitte is not expected be ready to break camp with the team when spring training ends early next month. He has been throwing off a mound.

"One thing with Andy is, he works extremely hard," Jeter said. "It's obvious that he's been working out. It's not like he's coming off the couch."

MO STILL ROLLING: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera pitched his third consecutive scoreless inning in a 6-3 win over the Astros, extending his spring training streak to no earned runs in 24 innings.

Jays: Lawrie nicked

CLEARWATER — Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie is expected to sit out a few games because of tightness in his left groin.

Lawrie was hurt trying to score from second base on J.P. Arencibia's RBI single during Friday's game against the Rays. He said he didn't think the injury was serious.

"Brett came in feeling good, yet we're going to side on the cautious side with his groin situation," manager John Farrell said. "It's likely to be multiple days before he's back on the field.

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"He feels improved (Saturday), but we're going to be sure this is 100 percent out of his mind and certainly not feeling anything before we would even entertain the thought of getting him back into the lineup."

Lawrie, who did not have an MRI exam, was held out of batting practice Saturday.


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