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Girardi, Cashman OK with Joba, bullpen

Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain walks back to

Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain walks back to the dugout after giving up the game tying run in the top eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (July 2, 2010) Credit: Newsday/Christopher Pasatieri

Joba Chamberlain's stats aren't pretty, but Joe Girardi still believes he can cut it as the Yankees' eighth-inning guy.

Chamberlain, who gave up two hits, a walk and the tying run in the eighth inning of Friday's 6-1, 11-inning loss to the Blue Jays, has a 5.40 ERA.

"Part of it is knowing yourself and what you have on certain days," Girardi said. "If you have the command that you need or do you need to use your breaking ball more, or if you don't have one good breaking ball, do you go to the other? It's really learning yourself, understanding yourself and having to make adjustments on the fly."

General manager Brian Cashman - who turned 43 Saturday - told Newsday he isn't in any rush to overhaul the bullpen. "I think we have the people here in place; they just have to be consistent performers," he said. ". . . Bullpens are very volatile, so I don't want to overreact to how it's looking right now."

In his Yankees debut, Dustin Moseley pitched two scoreless innings of relief Saturday, throwing 12 of his 15 pitches for strikes.

Steinbrenner tribute

The Yankees will mark George Steinbrenner's 80th birthday Sunday by displaying the seven World Series trophies under his ownership since 1973. Fans will be able to view the trophies outside the Yankees' museum, near the rightfield corner of the Stadium.

Injury updates

Marcus Thames (hamstring), who was scheduled to play nine innings in the outfield last night for Scranton / Wilkes-Barre, could return as soon as today. The Yankees don't expect to see Sergio Mitre (oblique) until after the All-Star break. He "felt good" after throwing 10 pitches in an inning of an extended spring game Friday in Tampa, threw 10 more pitches in the bullpen after his appearance and is scheduled to pitch two innings tomorrow.

Alfredo Aceves (back) is scheduled to throw 40 to 45 pitches Monday in his first advanced full-mound bullpen session. Nick Johnson (wrist) took swings with a light fungo bat Saturday. If all goes well, he is expected to fly to Tampa to continue his rehab work.

Is Strasburg an All-Star?

No way, said Girardi.

"The kid is a great talent, but there are a lot of guys who have logged 100 innings already, and that's what I'm looking at," he said of Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg.

Girardi won't have to make that decision, anyway. He'll be managing the American League.


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