Notes: Pettitte to throw on Monday
Lefty slated for 'pen session in preparation for Friday's start
LAKELAND, Fla. -- After spending most of his week in the trainer's room receiving treatment for back spasms, Andy Pettitte is more than ready to get back on the mound.
The left-hander will have his chance on Monday. Pettitte is scheduled to throw the first of two bullpen sessions in preparation for a final Spring Training start on Friday against the Tigers, though he admits the spasms haven't completely subsided.
"I still feel it a little bit," Pettitte said. "But there's a point when you have to do something. That's my take on it."
Because Yankees pitching coach Ron Guidry wants Pettitte to throw two bullpen sessions in preparation for each start, the lefty is unlikely to be prepared to pitch Wednesday, which would have put him on turn to pitch Opening Day in New York.
Guidry's demands are consistent with Pettitte's normal schedule; he is accustomed to throwing one normal bullpen and one light session between starts, which likely sets Pettitte up to throw bullpens on Monday and Wednesday.
Pettitte said he has felt improvement -- from the beginning, he has said the spasms have been relocating around his back, a good sign that the situation is not something larger.
"I'm moving a little better," Pettitte said. "I've never had anything like this. If it was something to do with my arm or my elbow, it'd be a lot easier for me to tell you."
Pettitte said he will not know how his command and stuff have been affected until he gets on a mound and throws with the downward slope. He played catch on Saturday and reported no problems, though he has been somewhat frustrated this week with the slow pace of his recovery.
"Obviously, I would love to just pitch," Pettitte said. "I need to be realistic and use my head right now, and realize that I have all kinds of time. I just don't want to push anything and get in a game and aggravate it."
Wang still throwing: With his strained right hamstring lightly wrapped in a bandage, Chien-Ming Wang played catch across the outfield of Legends Field on Sunday morning, tossing for about 10 minutes with Guidry.
Yankees manager Joe Torre said that the activity will keep up Wang's strength as he recovers from his injury, though his projected timetable remains the same. General manager Brian Cashman has said the Yankees do not expect Wang to appear on a Major League mound until late April, at the earliest.
"It's a long way from pitching, but it's good that he's able to do that," Torre said. "Maybe by next weekend, he'll be able to start on his way back."
Wang faces a progression of rehab starts and bullpen appearances ahead. He'll stay in Tampa when the Yankees go north, and even though his strain has been termed mild -- the diagnosis of Grade 1 is the least severe of three possible levels -- Torre said a "quick" recovery could be just the difference of one turn around a rotation.
"The thing is, even between one rehab starts and two rehab starts, it's the difference of a week," Torre said. "You're not dealing in days like you would a regular player."
You're excused: Catcher Jorge Posada missed his second straight game with illness, for which he has been placed on antibiotics. Posada reported to Legends Field on Sunday morning, but was quickly sent home by the Yankees' coaching staff; Torre said Posada's throat was "still puffy."
He's human: Sean Henn's string of perfection came to an end on Sunday against the Tigers, as the left-hander surrendered five hits and three runs in relief of injured starter Jeff Karstens.
Henn, 27, has been launching a convincing campaign to make the Yankees as a second left-handed reliever behind Mike Myers. In six innings this spring before Sunday's appearance, Henn had yet to allow a run or a hit, walking two and striking out four.
The three runs allowed in 1 2/3 innings on Sunday raised his spring ERA to a respectable 3.24.
"You can't always go out and expect no hits [and] no runs," Henn said. "I'm mainly a two-pitch pitcher -- fastballs and sliders -- and neither of them were there. It's tough to do anything with that."
Henn has never been in a Spring Training camp this late, and Torre hinted that Henn may have been trying to do too much as he looks to secure a roster spot.
"The last week with young pitchers, I think you just have to factor in the emotion of what they're going through right now," Torre said.
Meanwhile, Torre said the Yankees are continuing to consider non-roster invitee Ron Villone, who has allowed 10 hits and five earned runs in five innings. Villone pitched in a Minor League game Saturday, and he is scheduled to pitch Monday against the Phillies.
"We're just trying to give him every opportunity to put on his Sunday best," Torre said.
The bees are back: For the second time in a week, the Yankees were chased off the field by a swarm of bees.
On Sunday, they came by the hundreds during batting practice and buzzed from left field to the area around second base, where they hovered and eventually congregated on a metal screen on the infield.
Three brave workers at Joker Marchant Stadium folded up the screen and wheeled it out past the outfield wall, to a round of applause and the relief of all.
"They must be liberal bees," Torre observed. "They seem to fly to the left."
Coming up: The Yankees will host the Phillies for the fourth and final time in this year's Grapefruit League schedule on Monday. Left-hander Kei Igawa (1-0, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for New York, with right-hander Zack Segovia (0-1, 2.70) pitching for Philadelphia. First pitch is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. ET.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.