SEATTLE (AP) -Jason Giambi returned to the starting lineup for the first time in four games Saturday night, wearing flat-soled, sneaker-like shoes to better cushion the spur near his left heel.
He batted fifth as the designated hitter against righty Miguel Batista, against whom Giambi is hitless in his last 10 at-bats.
``I told them, let's go today,'' Giambi said 3 1/2 hours before the first pitch and before a final test in batting practice.
Giambi will wear the softer-soled shoes until orthotics designed to relieve pressure on the heel arrive later this week. The inserts for the cleats were custom-fitted in New York last week.
``They think I should be able to get it back to where I was before,'' Giambi said. ``Taking care of it, getting treatment, taping it up a little bit.''
He said he expects to be able to play first base again when the Yankees meet the Mets at Shea Stadium next weekend.
``The doctor said that until I get it more under control, try to be in my shoes as much as I can,'' Giambi said. ``The biggest thing is going to be being in my cleats, though. Shoes are fine.''
Yankees manager Joe Torre said he would rely on Giambi to tell him when he cannot play while he continues to get daily treatment on the spur. Torre has the same all-ears approach with leadoff man Johnny Damon, who is battling through calf cramps.
``They've been around enough that they are going to tell you,'' Torre said.
Giambi has been getting cross-country advice from an old friend on his latest footwear. Eric Chavez, his former teammate with the Oakland Athletics, dealt with plantar fasciitis in his foot a few years ago and fell in love with basketball sneakers. Chavez eventually had spikes put into the soles of his hoops shoes and played in those.
``He thinks that the way these orthotics are, that they should really help,'' Giambi said.
He said he believes the spur began paining him after he developed cramps in his lower left leg during a game May 3 at Texas.
``I didn't even know I had it,'' Giambi said.
The Yankees entered Saturday having scored two runs in their last 22 innings.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Mets vs. Giants Prediction Will the Mets hand the struggling Giants yet another loss when the two teams meet at 10:15PM ET tonight?
Thumbnail Rockies vs. Dodgers Prediction Will the Dodgers beat the Rockies and win their eighth straight game when the two teams meet at 10:10PM ET?
Thumbnail Tigers vs. Padres Pick Will the San Diego Padres add to the current losing streak of the Detroit Tigers when the two open their weekend series tonight at...
Thumbnail Astros vs. Mariners Pick Will the Houston Astros or the Seattle Mariners continue their win streak when the two meet up tonight at 10:10PM...
Thumbnail Pirates vs. Cardinals Prediction Will the Pirates pull off the upset versus the Cardinals tonight at 8:15PM ET in St. Louis?

MLB Team Pages