Curtis Granderson has taken a small step in his recovery from a fractured knuckle in his left hand.
The New York Yankees outfielder, who was injured during spring training and has yet to play a game this season, had the pin in his hand taken out.
"Another step closer," he told the Newark Star-Ledger.
Granderson visited general manager Brian Cashman at Yankee Stadium on Friday, telling him he will not be changing the way he approaches the game when he returns to the lineup.
"It's part of it," Granderson said in the clubhouse. "I've been hit. I'm sure I'll get hit again."
METS' NIESE HURTS SHOULDER
Pitcher Jon Niese was placed on the disabled list by the New York Mets after he partially tore his rotator cuff.
Niese left Thursday's game against the Braves in Atlanta because of pain in his left shoulder.
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco is upbeat about the injury.
"Hopefully it will start healing itself and he won't need surgery," Ricco told the New York Daily News. "But we'll know more after a couple of weeks of rest. According to the doctors it's a small-enough tear that with rest ... they're hopeful it won't need surgery. It's not 'full thickness' or a significant tear at this point."
Niese, who is 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 77 innings over 14 starts, has dealt with neck and shoulder issues during the season.
TIGERS DUMP VALVERDE
Struggling Tigers closer Jose Valverde is out of a job in Detroit.
The team designated the reliever for assignment Friday and called up right-hander Al Alburquerque from Triple-A Toledo.
The Tigers have 10 days to trade or release Valverde or place him on waivers. If he clears, the 35-year-old could pitch in the minors if he wanted to remain with the organization.
"He was open-minded to it," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLive.com. "He did not say no to it. But he needed some time to think about it."
On the season, Valverde is 0-1 with nine saves and a 5.59 earned-run average in 19.1 innings.
CARLOS LEE HANGS 'EM UP
Veteran slugger Carlos Lee has decided to retire from baseball.
The 37-year-old made the announcement during a radio show interview in Panama on Friday, reports ESPNDeportes.com.
Lee began his major-league career with the Chicago White Sox as a 23-year-old in 1999.
He was named an all-star three times (2005, 2006, 2007) and had a career batting average of .285 with 358 home runs.
His best season was 2006 when he hit a combined .300 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs split between the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers.