Joba Chamberlain's two-inning outing Saturday in an extended spring training game told the reliever everything he needed to know: He's ready.
"I feel great," said Chamberlain, who has been on the DL for a month with a right oblique strain but is slated to be activated today. "Everything's good."
He allowed one run and three hits in those two innings. The latter inning, in which his fastball peaked at 96 mph, was a 1-2-3 frame. "If you can throw 95, 96 at 10:30 in the morning," he said of the extended spring game, "usually it should be OK."
Chamberlain was secure in the seventh-inning setup role at the time of his injury, posting a 3.86 ERA in 10 games.
Joe Girardi didn't outright say Chamberlain will be returned to that job, not with the way Shawn Kelley has performed.
Chamberlain doesn't second-guess the cautious approach taken with his injury. "You want to make sure it doesn't linger," he said. "You don't realize how much you use it [oblique] until it hurts. So we got it taken care of."
The Tampa wounded
Mark Teixeira (wrist) and Kevin Youkilis (back) each had five at-bats in five-inning outings in an extended spring game Monday in Clearwater, Fla. The plan remains for Teixeira to head to Double-A Trenton for rehab games Wednesday and Thursday, with the possibility of being activated by the weekend. As for Youkilis, Girardi said, "With Youk and his back, we have to know that he can go back-to-back-to-back, and we have to get through that."