Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, on the 15-day disabled list with a mild left groin strain, threw on flat ground from 60 feet before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field and said afterward he'll throw a bullpen session on Sunday. Girardi said Sabathia's progress is "encouraging."
Right-handed reliever David Aardsma, who was shut down after three rehab outings as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery he underwent last July, had tests on his right elbow, but the results had not yet come back as of Tuesday afternoon.
Left-handed starter Andy Pettitte, on the 60-day DL with a fractured left ankle, didn't make the trip with the Yankees. He is playing catch from a chair but not yet running, and he has a bone stimulator on his ankle.
On Tuesday, a night after David Robertson took the loss against the Rays, Girardi maintained confidence in his setup man and said he expects Robertson to get better as the season progresses. Girardi believes that most of Robertson's recent struggles are a product of him recently returning from a left oblique strain, and he said Robertson's previously dipping velocity has been more consistent lately.
The Yankees entered Tuesday having lost eight straight games to the Rays at Tropicana Field, but Girardi isn't getting caught up in the skid. He pointed out that the Yankees have held the lead in many of those losses, only to give it up, just as they did on Monday night.
"They're a good team," Girardi said of the Rays. "I think it's their pitching, and they stay close. You look at all their games, and that's how they are."