NEW YORK -- Alfonso Soriano has always been one of the more streaky hitters around the league. He has been in a bit of a valley of late, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi senses some signs that Soriano is beginning to climb toward another peak.
"It seems like he's starting to swing the bat better again," Girardi said. "For me, he's always been a guy that's a little bit streaky. We know that. He had some hits the last couple of days. We could use it."
Soriano was 1-for-5 with a run-scoring single in the Yankees' 12-7 loss to the Mets on Tuesday, and has three hits in his last nine at-bats after residing in a 3-for-20 funk earlier this month.
"We've been scoring runs lately," Girardi said. "Lately, we've been having a hard time shutting the other team down. We'll take as many [runs] as we can get."
CC's visit to Andrews reveals changes in knee
NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia visited with Dr. James Andrews this week for an additional opinion on his troublesome right knee, and the noted orthopedist discovered "degenerative changes" in the knee, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters at Citi Field on Wednesday.
Sabathia, who is on the 15-day disabled list, had fluid drained from his knee this week. No structural damage was found in the knee, which Sabathia had repaired in October 2010 to repair a torn meniscus.
Cashman said that Sabathia will undergo a cortisone and stem-cell injection on Thursday at Andrews' practice in Birmingham, Ala., and that there is no immediate timetable for his return. Cashman mentioned that several big leaguers, including Carlos Beltran, Andruw Jones, Hideki Matsui, Raul Ibanez and Randy Johnson, have had success with similar treatments.
"His knee stability is fine, so there's no ligament damage or anything like that," Cashman said. "His knee is stable, but he does have some degenerative changes. What does that mean? He has some cartilage breakdown that is occurring. We have current players, and we've had past players, that have dealt with this in the past."
"It's just basically getting everything to calm down in his knee," manager Joe Girardi said. "You hope it's just the 15 days for CC."
Sabathia, who is 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight starts this season, said that he first felt the discomfort during a May 4 start against the Rays.
His absence marks yet another pitching injury for the Yankees, who lost Ivan Nova for the year to Tommy John surgery and will be without Michael Pineda until at least June with a Grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle behind his pitching shoulder.
David Phelps and Vidal Nuno already have been promoted from the bullpen to the rotation, with right-hander Chase Whitley set to take Sabathia's place in the rotation for Thursday's Subway Series finale against the Mets. Whitley will be added to the roster on Thursday.
"The big thing for me with him is, as much as he can, he gets through that first inning to calm himself down," Girardi said of Whitley. "I don't care who you are and how highly touted you are, that first time you walk on a Major League field, there's a lot of emotions and a lot of adrenaline."
For Yanks' Daley, series against Mets special
NEW YORK -- Matt Daley remembers pulling on a replica Mets jersey to suit up for trips to Shea Stadium, where he'd cheer for his favorites -- Al Leiter, Mike Piazza, and especially John Franco. He'd grab seats wherever he could; sometimes in the upper deck, sometimes closer to the dugouts.
The Queens product also remembers the pain of watching from his dorm room as a Bucknell University freshman as Piazza lifted a fly ball to center field on a crisp October night in 2000. The drive fell into Bernie Williams' glove, giving the Yankees their 26th World Series championship.
"I was pretty bummed at the time, that's for sure," Daley said, with a laugh. "But now, looking back, I'm happy for the Yankees."
Daley, who grew up in Garden City, N.Y., said that it was only after he left Yankee Stadium on Tuesday that it started to sink in: he'd just participated in his first Subway Series. Daley fired three scoreless innings of relief in the Yankees' 12-7 loss to the Mets at Yankee Stadium.
"To be able to pitch in it definitely means a lot to me," Daley said. "During, I was just trying to focus on the outing and trying to get outs. But afterwards, yeah, I got home and was kind of talking to my wife [Claire] and appreciating what just happened."
• Beltran (right elbow bone spur) is receiving treatment after having a cortisone injection earlier this week. Beltran also took one-handed swings with his left arm, but is resting his right arm. He is hoping to avoid surgery, and the Yankees plan to reevaluate Beltran in the next few days.
"I think to be fair, you have to give the cortisone shot a couple of days before you make a determination," Girardi said. "Is that enough treatment to get through this? If not, then you might have to go a different direction."
• On this date in 1996, Dwight Gooden pitched the eighth no-hitter in franchise history, defeating the Mariners, 2-0, at Yankee Stadium. Gooden threw 134 pitches in the contest (74 for strikes), walking six and striking out five.
Also on this date in 1967, Mickey Mantle hit his 500th home run, a seventh-inning shot off the Orioles' Stu Miller. Mantle limped around the basepaths, his homer providing the margin of victory in a 6-5 Mother's Day win at Yankee Stadium.