SEATTLE -- Kevin Youkilis had to slide into first to beat Raul Ibanez to the bag in the second inning of yesterday's game, and afterward was seen in the clubhouse with a large icebag wrapped around his troublesome lower back.
And today, he is out of the lineup.
But no, both he and Joe Girardi insist, it is not because of a flareup of the lower back strain that landed him on the DL for the entire month of May.
"He's played five days in a row and he's coming off a back injury,'' Girardi said. "He's a little stiff, just normal stiffness today so I just thought I'd give him a day.''
Youkilis also said his back was fine and he would be available if needed today as a pinch-hitter.
He also had a plan for the next time a similar play comes up: "I think now I'll just maybe dive head-first more, and make it look extra special.''
To which Girardi said, "Please don't. Maybe he should just run straight through the bag.''
• Derek Jeter will see ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson this week in Charlotte, N.C -- Girardi wasn't sure if it was to be Wednesday or Thursday -- and if he's cleared, will resume baseball activities down in Tampa by the end of the week.
• Eduardo Nunez, on the DL since May 6 with an oblique strain, has resumed doing "rotational exercises'' but is still seemingly far from coming back.
• Michael Pineda made his first rehab start for the Class A Tampa Yankees today and worked 4 1/3 innings, throwing 68 pitches, and allowed just two hits, one of them a bunt single. He also struck out four and walked one. No info on his radar gun readings but this begins his 30-day rehab period. By July 9, he will either be promoted to the Yankees or assigned to one of their minor-league clubs.
• King Felix Hernandez, the Mariners starter for today's series finale, is 8-5 with a 2.99 ERA and four complete games lifetime against the Yankees. Over his last 11 starts vs. the Yankees, he is 7-2 with a 2.14. However, the slumping Robby Cano hits him well -- 16-for-43 (.372) with two HRs -- and Mark Teixeira has five HRs off him in 61 at-bats.