Posada out of Yankees lineup again

CLEVELAND -- Jorge Posada was out of the New York Yankees lineup Thursday for the second time in three games due to soreness caused by a cyst behind his left knee.

Posada was left out of the starting lineup for Thursday's game against the Cleveland Indians by manager Joe Girardi.

"He's still sore," Girardi said. "I thought we might be able to play him today but he's still sore, so we decided to give him the day off and hopefully he'll be ready tomorrow. He just told me it was cranky so we gave him the whole day off and we'll see where we're at.''

But Posada seemed to imply the decision to sit him was the manager's alone. "Everything's fine, guys, everything's fine,'' a somewhat irritated Posada said to a group of reporters in front of his locker before the game. "It just didn't happen. He just wanted to give me an extra day.''

It is not the first time the 38-year-old catcher and the manager have seemed to disagree on Posada's fitness to return to the Yankees lineup. It happened in early June when Posada, returning after missing 15 games with a broken right foot, was relegated to DH duty for his first 10 games back, a position he detests. And Girardi is famously cautious when it comes to using players who are coming off injuries. Although he was eager to return to catching, Posada seemed to understand Girardi's caution after the foot injury.

This time, the two men's assessment of Posada's knee injury seemed at opposite ends of the pain spectrum.

"It feels a lot better than it did when it first flared up a few days ago,'' said Posada, who was a late scratch for Tuesday's game but was used as a DH on Wednesday.

Said Girardi: "I was hoping with the DH day yesterday it would be gone or feel a lot better, but it didn't, so I figured we need to give him a whole day and a lot of treatment and then see where we're at. There's no doubt that I could play him, but if it's still really sore it makes it difficult to start him as a catcher.''

Posada, hitting .267 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs in 70 games this season, said he expected to catch two of the three games this weekend when the Yankees play their divisional rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, who trail New York by 1½ games in the AL East. Said Girardi: "We'll just kinda keep our fingers crossed.''

Wallace Matthews is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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