New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said closer Mariano Rivera will definitely pitch Thursday night regardless of the score and may play one inning in center field this weekend at Houston.
Rivera, 43, has shagged fly balls during batting practice his entire career and his teammates say he is the best athlete on the team. He did miss most of last season with a knee injury when he was hurt in the outfielder during batting practice before a game last May.
Girardi said Rivera will pitch no matter what Thursday since it is his final game at Yankee Stadium.
He may play an inning in center against the host Astros this weekend because the series has no playoff implications, unlike Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Girardi said the Yankees want to respect the pennant race and Tampa Bay is still fighting for a spot.