Yankees Notebook: Martin works the net, Joba continues rehab

Russell Martin, right, hit his first home run since early June on Monday.

Russell Martin was not in the
starting lineup Tuesday, but a day after hitting his first home in 66 at-bats,
the catcher was among those taking part in hitting coach Kevin Long’s
net drill.

Unlike Robinson Cano, who frequently hits one ball
after another into the right-field seats, Martin spent most of his
session pulling the ball to left and left-center field. He did not have
the same home run frequency as Cano in the drill, but for him the
exercise was about different perspectives.

“For me it’s just
like hitting in the cage,” he said. “You see the flight of the ball and
see how you’re striking the ball. For the most part, I like to work the
other way. But it’s also good to quicken up your hands and recognize how
to hit pitches that are inside.”

“For me that’s why I like it.
I’m so right-center oriented, I kind of lose the feel for pulling the
ball. It kind of allows you to pull the ball and see that you’re pulling
it the right way. The way it hooks, the way you hit it true, you get
that back spin and that way it helps.

Though he is hitting .179,
he has had two big hits since the All-Star break and both
have gone the opposite way, which is even more of a
reason that Martin enjoys the drill.

“For me that’s why I like
it,” he said. “I’m so right-center oriented, I kind of lose the feel for
pulling the ball. It kind of allows you to pull the ball and see that
you’re pulling it the right way. The way it hooks, the way you hit it
true, you get that back spin and that way it helps.”

Chamberlain throws again

Joba Chamberlain’s rehab from his ankle injury and “Tommy John” surgery continued Tuesday in another Gulf Coast League outing.

He
pitched the first inning of a game against the Gulf Coast League
Phillies and struck out two. Perhaps more importantly, he he hit 98 mph after hitting 97 mph in his previous appearance.

“We’re very encouraged by what he’s
doing right now,” Girardi said. “He’ll take a couple of days off now and
probably throw again and eventually he has to get to back-to-back
outings. But it seems we’re getting through this and it shouldn’t be a
real long time if everything goes according to plan.”

Bautista thankful injury not worse

When Jose Bautista went down writhing in pain after fouling off a 2-0 fastball from David Robertson there was a collective hush from a crowd that was thinking the worst about his left wrist.

Bautista was also thinking the worst possible injury had occurred, but an MRI Tuesday showed just inflammation in his left wrist. Bautista is wearing a brace and has started taking anti-inflammatory medication in conjunction with treatment.

“It was an aggressive 2-0 swing,” Bautista said. “I got a good pitch to hit. I managed to hit it, but it went foul. Just as I was swinging, I felt something weird around my wrist and on the recoil is when I felt sharp pain.

“It’s a little scary at the time. You can’t help think it’s something worse, but the bottom line is I got it examined, I got X-rays and an MRI and there’s no structural damage. There’s just some inflammation around the joint, but the wrist is strained and obviously I won’t be able to pick up the bat for a couple of days. But we’re going to take it day-by-day and work through all the treatments and hopefully get back on the field without rushing anything.”

The Blue Jays did not announce a timetable but as Bautista spoke to reporters in the middle of the clubhouse, he seemed relieved but at the same time disappointed that such a fluky injury occurred.

“The only thing that I can think of is that I held on with both hands maybe longer than I usually do,” Bautista said. “Maybe my wrist got turned in a direction that it never gets turned. Maybe I put too much stress in the area and hyper-extended it. It is a strain and luckily no ligaments are damaged.

“It’s one of those fluke things that you can’t control happened. It’s unfortunate that it happened, especially in such an important part of the season and especially in an important game.”

There are currently three other players in the majors on the DL with a similar injury. Cubs’ third baseman Ian Stewart has been on the DL since June 13 with a sore left wrist, Washington’s Xavier Nady has been out since June 24 with right wrist tendinitis and Baltimore’s Nick Johnson has been sidelined since June 28 with a sprained right wrist.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



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