Damaso Marte wipes his face as he leaves the game...

Damaso Marte wipes his face as he leaves the game in the 7th inning after giving up a two run home run to Russell Branyon. (June 30, 2010) Credit: David Pokress

The Yankees' bullpen took another blow Saturday as lefthander Damaso Marte was put on the disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder, something he said felt similar to what kept him out from May until mid-August last season.

Still, he said he is optimistic this injury will keep him out only two to three weeks.

General manager Brian Cashman said an MRI taken Friday night showed that Marte, who has a 4.08 ERA in 30 appearances but has held lefties to a .146 average, had "some inflammation in there we need to get calmed down . . . Hopefully, it won't be a long period of time, but it could be. We'll see."

Boone Logan was called up from Triple-A Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre to take Marte's place as the bullpen's lone lefthander.

Marte last pitched July 7 in Oakland, where he said he first noticed a problem. Cashman said the Yankees shelved him during the four-game series against Seattle before the All-Star break. But when Marte came back from the break, "it still was cranky, so we MRI'd him," Cashman said.

Marte starred in last year's World Series. Though Logan has been OK this year, with a 3.93 ERA in 17 games, the Yankees can ill afford to lose Marte long-term.

"We don't win the World Series without him," Cashman said. "He's an important piece."

 

Lighting a fire?

With Joba Chamberlain still erratic in the eighth-inning role, Girardi said "we're going to do what's best for the club on a daily basis" when asked if David Robertson might get a look for the job.

"If Robbie gets on a roll, obviously, as we've seen here before and as we saw last year with Hughsie [Phil Hughes], if you get on a roll, you're going to pitch more important innings, that's the bottom line," Girardi said. "You have to earn your roles here and we evaluate it every day."

 

Maddon objects

Don't count Rays manager Joe Maddon among those impressed with 40-year-old Mariano Rivera's pickoff of B.J. Upton at first base with none out in the ninth Friday.

"Oh, sure it was [a balk]," Maddon said before Saturday's game. "The spirit of the rule is intent to deceive the runner . . . That had intent to deceive."

Maddon, whose Rays have had seven balks called against them - the most in the AL - said the balk "is poorly defined and needs to be made more uniform."

 

Extra bases

The Yankees have scouts in Florida this weekend to look at veteran infielder Wes Helms, according to mlb.com. Bench help is high on the Yankees' priority list before the July 1 non-waivers trade deadline, and Helms is appealing because he can play third, pinch hit or DH on occasion. Helms played for Girardi's Marlins in 2006 . . . Cashman said righthander Sergio Mitre will be activated in "the next few days."

With Cody Derespina

More Yankees headlines