Tuesday July 3, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. -- Joba Chamberlain could soon pitch in a minor league game for the first time since injuring an ankle during spring training.

The New York Yankees reliever said he is scheduled to throw in a simulated game on Friday. Chamberlain threw a pair of 20-pitch segments Monday during his third batting practice session at the team's minor league complex.

"Especially after today with the way I felt, the way my command was, I 100 percent believe I can get big league hitters out right now," Chamberlain said. "That's half the battle, saying you can do it. We're over that hump. I felt like today was my best day, overall."

Chamberlain dislocated his right ankle bouncing on a trampoline with his son March 22 and expects to see game action within two weeks. The right-hander was coming back from elbow ligament-replacement surgery at the time of the ankle injury.

"Everything is good," Chamberlain said. "The ankle is taken care of. The ankle is fine. My elbow is, obviously, great. I just have to continue to maintain those two good feelings and get back into some games."

Chamberlain also took part in defensive drills, with New York manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild watching. The Yankees are in Florida for a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"Another step," Chamberlain said.

Girardi was impressed by what he saw.

"It was fun to watch him," Girardi said. "I thought he looked good. I'm pleased."

Also, ace CC Sabathia, who strained his left groin July 24, felt good after he resumed throwing Monday. The left-hander played catch and threw long toss in the outfield.

Notes: Girardi said DH-OF Raul Ibanez, who cut his lip and broke a tooth when he hit his face on the bench avoiding a foul ball Sunday in the dugout, was scheduled to re-join the team Monday night. ... LHP Pedro Feliciano, rehabbing after left shoulder surgery, is scheduled to have his next bullpen outing Tuesday and said he could throw batting practice next week. ... The Yankees optioned RHP Cody Wade to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for RHP Chad Qualls, who joined the team after being obtained in a trade Sunday with Philadelphia.