Yanks' Clemens scratched for debut against White Sox

Updated: June 3, 2007, 3:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BOSTON -- Roger Clemens was scratched from Monday's start against the Chicago White Sox because of a fatigued right groin.

Roger Clemens
Clemens

Clemens first experienced the pain during his last minor league outing, for Triple-A Scranton on Monday. Rather than risk additional injury, he decided to be cautious, the Yankees confirmed during Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox.

"Well, we're going to need a starter for Monday," manager Joe Torre said. "We didn't know until today that he wasn't going to make the start."

It is not clear when Clemens will pitch, but he will miss the four-game series at Chicago. Kei Igawa is likely to start against the White Sox on Monday.

Clemens believes he needs an extra four to five days to recover, but says this is not a major injury.

That timeframe would put him in line to face the Pirates in Yankee Stadium next weekend.

For now, the Yankees will send Clemens to Class-A Tampa for rehab and evaluate him day to day.

"He's definitely a possibility," Torre said during the television broadcast of Saturday's 11-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox. "He may be not quite where we want him to be yet, but in search of a starter as opposed to bringing somebody back on short rest is probably the way we'd like to go."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke to Clemens, who threw off a mound on Saturday.

"He called it a fatigued groin, not a strained groin," Cashman said. "I think he's optimistic it's a short issue. ... I don't think this is that big of a deal."

The 44-year-old, seven-time Cy Young winner came out of retirement to take a prorated share of a $28 million salary to help New York overcome a double-digit deficit in the AL East. The Yankees considered having Clemens pitch this weekend when they played the AL East-leading Red Sox, but decided to ease him in without the hubbub surrounding their biggest rivalry.

With Saturday's loss, New York trails Boston by 13½ games. Clemens will lose $153,006 for each day he's not added to the major league roster.

"We can't worry about Roger," shortstop Derek Jeter said. "He's not here. He's not going to pitch this game. We're not going to worry about that."

After one start at Class-A Tampa and one at Double-A Trenton, Clemens made his final minor league start Monday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He allowed two hits and struck out six over six scoreless innings.

"You have arguably the best pitcher of our generation coming in, a guy that won championships and a guy won all kinds of awards," center fielder Johnny Damon said before Saturday's game. "He knows what it takes to win championships and be at that next level and be a better player. His personality will be very instrumental to us."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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