Torre: 'I don't want him to feel any pressure from us'

Randy Johnson is scheduled to start Tuesday at Tampa Bay. But no one seems to know if he actually will.

The New York Post and New York Newday both reported Friday that manager Joe Torre insists there's no pressure on the Big Unit to return to the Yankees' rotation.

"I told Randy when he is comfortable he will pitch," Torre told the Post. "I don't want him to feel any pressure from us. He puts enough pressure on himself.

"Tuesday is probable but not set in stone by any stretch of the imagination," he added. "We will know by Saturday."

The Post reported that Johnson, who has inflammation in the lumbar spine, played catch Thursday, throwing a ball for the first time since Saturday's rocky start against the Blue Jays.

Thursday, Newsday reported pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre had "no idea whatsoever" if Johnson would start Tuesday. On Wednesday, GM Brian Cashman had said he believed Johnson wouldn't start.

"I have nothing to say," Johnson told Newsday. "I'm just getting treatment right now. I haven't talked to anybody. Go get me a Bible. I swear to God. I haven't talked to Joe. I haven't talked to Mel. I haven't talked to George Steinbrenner. I haven't talked to Brian Cashman. I'm getting my treatment. That's all I know."

Johnson seemed upset about Cashman's comments, telling Newsday after he played catch that his back "feels a little better" but his "blood pressure is up a little now."

If Johnson can't go against the Devil Rays, Aaron Small will get the start.