MLB notes: Pettitte says he's ready to help Yanks

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte threw 96 pitches Monday in an extended spring training game...

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte threw 96 pitches Monday in an extended spring training game at Clearwater, Fla. (REUTERS)

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, Last Updated: 7:45 PM ET

Andy Pettitte is keen to return to the New York Yankees after throwing 96 pitches Monday in an extended spring training game at Clearwater, Fla.

Pettitte gave up five earned runs in six innings.

"I feel I'm strong enough and ready to make my next start with (the Yankees)," Pettitte told MLB.com. "I feel good and it was another solid day. I felt the quality of pitches were as good as I've had in any of my starts up to now, and I was able to hold my velocity ...

"I feel like I'm ready to help the team."

He said he got knocked around a bit Monday because he was being overly aggressive.

The left-hander, who turns 40 on June 15, said he understands if the Yankees want to make one more start at the minor-league level before calling him up.

"I'm excited, and I'm ready to get up there and do whatever I can to help," he said.

Pettitte waited until March 16 to sign a contract this season with the Yankees.

DAMON BACK IN MAJORS

Johnny Damon is skipping a minor-league assignment and Tuesday will join the Cleveland Indians as they open a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox.

Damon, 38, has been at extended spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., since signing a minor-league contract April 17. The original plan was for the veteran outfielder to report to triple-A for a few games, but the Indians were satisfied he was ready. The team could use an offensive boost, too, having scored just 17 runs in their past seven games.

The Indians will be Damon's seventh MLB team. He hit .261 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI in 150 games last year for the Tampa Bay Rays.

RAYS SIGN MATSUI

The Tampa Bay Rays ended several days of speculation Monday as they signed Hideki Matsui to a minor-league contract.

The designated hitter/outfielder turns 38 in June.

Matsui, who hit .251 in 144 games last year for the Oakland As, will report to extended spring training camp in Port Charlotte, Fla. Before joining the Rays, Matsui likely will put in a stint at their triple-A affiliate in Durham, N.C.

INGE CATCHES ON WITH A'S

Veteran infielder Brandon Inge, who was released last week by the Detroit Tigers, agreed to terms Monday with the Oakland Athletics.

Inge, who turns 35 on May 19, played 12 seasons with the Tigers, but was just 2-for-20 in nine games this year after hitting .197 in 2011.

Inge hit 27 homers in 2006 and in 2009.

To create roster space, the A's designated infielder Luke Hughes for assignment. Hughes was acquired off waivers from Minnesota on April 22.

BRIEFLY

The Arizona Diamondbacks transferred third baseman Geoff Blum to the 60-day disabled list from the 15-day DL, and optioned pitcher Joe Martinez to triple-A Reno. They also recalled pitcher Patrick Corbin from double-A Mobile. The 22-year-old got a win in his major-league debut Monday afternoon as Arizona defeated Miami, 9-5 ... Cliff Lee will remain on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. The Philadelphia Phillies left-hander is eligible to be activated Friday but says he is not ready yet ... Delmon Young will be suspended by MLB after being charged with hate crime harassment, the New York Post reported. Young, who was charged after shouting anti-Semitic slurs at 2:40 a.m. Friday in New York, already has been placed on the restricted list by the Detroit Tigers ... A strained left hamstring is expected to keep New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher on the sidelines for a week, manager Joe Girardi said Monday. Swisher, though, said he hopes to be back as early as Thursday.


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