Crosby on way back; infielder Johnson designated

Updated: July 18, 2005, 12:43 AM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The New York Yankees purchased the contract of right-hander Aaron Small from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday and designated infielder Russ Johnson for assignment.

Outfielder Melky Cabrera was optioned to Columbus on Sunday, and outfielder Bubba Crosby is expected to be called up on Monday. The Yankees will have to make another move on Monday to make room for scheduled starter Kevin Brown.

Small is scheduled to start on Wednesday against the Texas Rangers, manager Joe Torre said before Sunday night's game against the Boston Red Sox. Small was in spring training with the Yankees but was sent to the minors at the end of camp.

"Early on, he didn't have a lot of control," Torre said.

The Yankees, who beat the Red Sox 5-3 Sunday to take three of four in their first series since the All-Star break, have been casting about for pitching because four starters are on the disabled list: Brown, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, and Chien-Ming Wang.

Al Leiter started Sunday, a day after he was acquired from the Marlins.

Cabrera hit .211 in six games with the Yankees since being called up after a short stint in Triple-A. He also struggled in center field throughout his callup and misplayed Trot Nixon's line drive into an inside-the-park homer on Friday night.

"I'm not afraid to try something,'' general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's going to have a long career. But I was asking too much, too soon."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press