Pavano was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, and New York brought up 20-year-old
outfielder Melky Cabrera from the minors.
Pavano hasn't pitched since June 27 and is eligible to come off
the disabled list following the All-Star break.
Pavano already skipped one turn in the rotation and agreed that
missing Saturday's start was the right move.
"They need me to go out there and do what I know I'm capable of
doing," he said.
Cabrera struck out in his first at-bat and hit an opposite-field
single to left in his second, which earned him a standing ovation
from the sellout crowd of 52,201. He began the season with the Thunder and hit .267 with nine
homers and 44 RBI in 77 games. He was promoted to Triple-A
Columbus on June 28 and batted. 324 with three homers and 11 RBI
in nine games.
With Bernie Williams' defense in decline, New York has struggled
to find a center fielder, trying Hideki Matsui, Tony Womack and
Bubba Crosby there.
Cabrera batted ninth against Cleveland, joining second baseman
Robinson Cano as the second rookie in New York's starting lineup.
"It's not our signature," manager Joe Torre said. "All the
time I've been here, all the criticism the farm system has taken,
because they really haven't given us any help other than making
trades, it's refreshing, it really is. The start of the season,
there's no chance any of this was going to happen."
Pavano missed his last start after complaining of discomfort in his shoulder.
Pavano is 4-6 with a 4.77 ERA in 17 starts.
May, who went 1-3 with a 5.61 ERA for San Diego, tossed seven solid innings of one-run ball, striking out seven in his first game with Triple-A Columbus on Monday night.
"That's a possibility. If we don't have Pavano, we can look at some options," Torre said on Wednesday. "Sturtze is one, but it really hamstrung us, having to go through the whole bullpen. We'll look for a starter for Saturday if it's not Pavano."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.