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Pregame notes: Tornado damage all too familiar for Robertson

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David Robertson [2]

Dave Robertson has never played baseball in Oklahoma City, and he has no real ties to the suburb of Moore, but images of yesterday’s tornado still struck home. The scenes on television all too similar to the 2011 tornado that ripped through Robertson’s hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“I know first hand what it looks like,” Robertson said. “We saw it live going through there. It’s tough because you know that all the families are just lost right now. Their whole world has been rocked. It’s just really tough to see that. You watch it on TV but you don’t understand until you get on the ground and see where everyone’s houses were, it’s just a lot of concrete debris. It’s tough to see.”

When the Alabama tornado hit, Robertson and his wife, Erin, formed the High Socks For Hope charity. He’s already talked to Erin about ideas for new fund raising events to begin helping in Oklahoma.

“We’re preparing care packages right now to send up,” Robertson said. “We’re doing everything within our means. We’re not a large charity, it’s just me, Erin and a couple of people on the ground in Alabama. It’s really actually just three of us running it. We’re small but we’re doing what we can. We get a lot of help down there and hopefully we can move some essential items back up to Oklahoma and help out any way we can.”

“… We’re still doing Alabama, Sandy and hoping to send some stuff up to Oklahoma. Right now, it’s just care packages. We’ll see where everything goes from there. Our funds are kind of depleted. We need to bring awareness back.”

Joba Chamberlain [3]• Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to make a rehab appearance in Tampa tomorrow, but he won’t be activated right away. Manager Joe Girardi said he expects Chamberlain to make at least two rehab outings, making it unlikely he’ll come off the disabled list before next week. “I don’t know if it will be the weekend,” Girardi said. “I think he’ll probably do two turns, then we’ll evaluate and make sure he’s doing OK.”

• Mark Teixeira got four simulated at-bats today, and Kevin Youkilis got three at-bats. Eduardo Nunez did tee and toss, and Alex Rodriguez took batting practice. “Everyone seemed to do a little more today,” Girardi said.

• It’s important to think of these simulated game at-bats as something larger than typical at-bats. “They told me Tex saw 40 to 45 pitches in four ABs,” Girardi said. “I don’t imagine that’s (a real game). I don’t know how you do that.”

• According to Girardi, Ivan Nova felt good today, but there’s no word on what’s next for him.

• No real plan for Andy Pettitte just yet. “They’re giving him five or six days off from throwing,” Girardi said. “He’s not scheduled to throw yet.” Girardi indicated that Pettitte might simply throw a simulated game rather than going on a real rehab assignment.

• Chris Stewart did more tee and toss today. Girardi said he fully expects to have Stewart back in the lineup at some point this weekend.

• The Yankees could used Stewart in an emergency, but if — for some reason — the Yankees couldn’t use Stewart, Jayson Nix is the emergency third catcher. “Ich is the most flexible,” Girardi said. “He ought to get back there. He said no, though.”

• Girardi said it’s ultimately up to Phil Hughes to recognize whether his fastball is working tonight, and to adjust his game plan if it’s not. Austin Romine can call pitches, but Hughes has the final say. “You can try to enforce it, but really the enforcer is standing with the baseball in his hand because they have the ability to shake,” Girardi said. “Unfortunately, catchers aren’t able to shake pitchers off sometimes. It really falls upon his shoulders. You can try to get him to do it, but sometimes guy are creatures of habit and you have to recognize when you have to make changes.”

Associated Press photos