TORONTO -- Mark Teixeira took six at-bats of batting practice on Friday in Tampa, Fla., and expects to play five innings in an instructional league game on Saturday.
"He ran better today and said he felt better today," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He took a ton of ground balls, and he's going to play in a game tomorrow -- five innings. Then we'll go from there. Everything looks pretty good right now."
Teixeira is proceeding cautiously after aggravating his left calf strain in a Sept. 8 game at Baltimore. There is a locker set up for him in the visitors' clubhouse at Rogers Centre, but Girardi is not expecting Teixeira to make his return in Toronto.
"I think it will probably be at home [against Boston next week]," Girardi said. "I don't necessarily think it will be here."
Aardsma's grueling injury rehab pays off
TORONTO -- After David Aardsma completed his first Major League appearance in more than two years, the right-hander scanned his cell phone and found the expected array of text messages and voicemails from close friends and family members.
He also found himself scanning through many positive comments from people he hasn't met, and may never. Aardsma used his Twitter account, @TheDA53, as a tool to keep followers updated on his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and they have been with him every step of the way.
"It's great -- it kept me kind of in the loop, you know?" Aardsma said. "I was so out of it. I started Twitter after I had surgery with the Mariners, and yesterday was the first time I pitched with a Twitter account. It kind of kept me involved with what was going on around me and, in some ways, kept me relevant."
Aardsma made his Yankees debut in Thursday's 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, allowing a solo J.P. Arencibia home run in his first big league appearance since Sept. 19, 2010, as a member of the Mariners against the Rangers.
"It was unbelievable," Aardsma said. "I was so excited and nervous at the same time. It was just good to get back out there and get that first outing."
Aardsma made good on general manager Brian Cashman's prediction this spring that the former closer could appear at the big league level this season, though the Yankees signed the 30-year-old Aardsma with more of an eye toward being in their 2013 bullpen.
Aardsma's summer was spent mostly at the Yankees' training facilities in Tampa, Fla., featuring an endless cycle of rehab exercises and throwing programs, and the right-hander admits there were several moments when he fantasized about escaping Tampa. He said the most difficult part about his rehab was not having any guarantees.
"It's the realization that it might not happen, that everything you do won't happen, and getting over that," Aardsma said. "It's saying, 'Hey, get that out of your mind. No matter what you go through, you can't think like that.'
"You've got to stay positive, and that's the hardest part -- to not fall into that hole. Even though you're down in Tampa and there's no one else around you, you stay positive and say, 'I'm going to do this. I'm going to get there,' and keep plugging along."
Alex Rodriguez returned to third base on Friday, having battled a sore left foot since Tuesday. The Yankees used Eric Chavez as the designated hitter against Toronto hurler Chad Jenkins.
Ivan Nova remains on track to make his scheduled start on Tuesday against the Red Sox, Girardi said, noting, "We haven't changed anything."
The Yankees' pitching staff entered play on Friday with 1,269 strikeouts, a new franchise record. The previous franchise mark was 1,266, set by the 2001 Yankees, who were paced by Mike Mussina (214) and Roger Clemens (213).