Yankees pull Posada from lineup

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees held Jorge Posada out of Thursday's lineup because of the contusion on his right knee and they don't know when he will play again. Still, they maintain the disabled list is not a possibility.

The Yankees chose not to call up a backup catcher as Joe Girardi said that Posada can bend his knees and would act as the team's emergency catcher in case Francisco Cervelli were injured.

"As far as when [Posada] will start a game, it is day to day," Girardi said. "Friday is probably doubtful."

Posada woke up Thursday and spoke with Girardi, telling the manager he felt better.

"No question, there has been improvement since [Wednesday] night," Posada said through a team spokesman. "There is still some swelling we need to get out, but if needed in a pinch I can play."

The Yankees' third catcher is utilityman Ramiro Pena.

Posada has not had any tests done on the knee. Girard said none were planned at this point.

On Wednesday, after Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie nailed Posada's right knee with a 94 mph fastball in the second inning , Posada and Girardi were both optimistic that Posada could avoid the DL.

Posada initially remained in the game and grimaced around the bases, scoring on Nick Swisher's two-run triple. When he returned to the bench, he told Girardi that he could no longer play.

Before Posada hurt himself, Girardi already had planned not to start Posada on either Thursday or Friday because he didn't want Posada to catch four straight games.

Last May, Posada missed 22 games with a bad hamstring. The Yankees discovered Cervelli and went 14-8 in those games.

On Wednesday night, Girardi expressed "frustration" over Guthrie hitting Posada. In spring training, Guthrie previously hurt Mark Teixeira and also hit Cervelli. While Girardi didn't like where Guthrie's pitch went, he did not offer an alternative for how Guthrie should have approached Posada's at-bat.

Guthrie has had a penchant for hitting big-name Yankee hitters, having also nailed Alex Rodriguez.

"That is somewhat peculiar," said Girardi, adding he didn't want to inflame the situation.

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.