Bombers bits

Bombers bits

• Right-handed reliever Joba Chamberlain, rehabbing from a torn medial collateral ligament in his right elbow and a dislocated right ankle, will pitch his first simulated game on Friday in Tampa, Fla. Chamberlain promised on Monday that he will pitch for the Yankees this season.

• Girardi said that outfielder Brett Gardner, on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, should begin taking dry swings within the next day or two.

• Girardi saw catching prospect Austin Romine (lower back strain) catch a bullpen session on Wednesday morning and estimated that Romine is a few weeks away from returning.

• The Yankees haven't received the results from tests run on rehabbing reliever David Aardsma. The right-hander, working his way back from Tommy John surgery, was shut down late last week. Girardi believed the club was waiting on an opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed Aardsma's surgery.

• Girardi said the Yankees haven't made a decision yet on what they'll do with right-hander David Phelps after his start on Wednesday. CC Sabathia is expected to return to the rotation after the All-Star break, and Phelps isn't scheduled to make a start in the Boston series.

• The USO Liberty Bells were on hand to sing the national anthem at Tropicana Field prior to the first pitch between the Yankees and Rays on the Fourth of July. That was followed by the ceremonial first pitch from Col. Lenny Richoux. Tampa Bay's mascot, Raymond, was also dressed in Uncle Sam attire.