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Chapman targets mid-June return

Yankees closer eyes series vs. A's in Oakland
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Aroldis Chapman is eyeing a June 15-18 series against the Athletics in Oakland for his return to the Yankees' bullpen.

Chapman said that he is scheduled to travel to the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, where he will throw a simulated game. After that, Chapman expects to be cleared for a Minor League rehabilitation assignment, likely with Double-A Trenton.

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NEW YORK -- Aroldis Chapman is eyeing a June 15-18 series against the Athletics in Oakland for his return to the Yankees' bullpen.

Chapman said that he is scheduled to travel to the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, where he will throw a simulated game. After that, Chapman expects to be cleared for a Minor League rehabilitation assignment, likely with Double-A Trenton.

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"Everything is good, thank God," Chapman said through an interpreter.

Chapman has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 14, retroactive to May 13, with left rotator cuff inflammation. At the time of the injury, the Yankees estimated that Chapman would miss approximately four weeks.

The 29-year-old lefty is 1-0 with seven saves and a 3.55 ERA in 14 appearances this season, striking out 21 against six walks in 12 2/3 innings.

Video: KC@NYY: Ellsbury crashes into wall, exits game

Status quo

Jacoby Ellsbury (concussion) was seen by a neurologist on Monday in New York and remains shut down from baseball activities. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Ellsbury had an MRI exam on his neck that revealed no structural damage, but the outfielder is still experiencing headaches stemming from a May 24 crash into the wall.

"He'll continue to take things slow. He's not ready to go," Girardi said. "He's still suffering the effects. We feel that he's better than he was when it first happened, but still there's no exact timetable because you just don't know."

Video: NYY@BOS: Bird plates Judge with an RBI single

Eyes on the farm

Greg Bird (right ankle bruise) has hit safely in his first five Minor League rehab games for Class A Advanced Tampa. General manager Brian Cashman said that the organization plans to have Bird join Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday.

"Our eyes are on him. He's obviously getting closer," Girardi said. "He's playing every day. He has not played nine innings, which is not the biggest deal to me. He has not played back-to-back games in the field yet. It's been field, DH, field, DH. But he's progressing."

Cashman said the Yankees discussed promoting Tyler Austin, who has been performing well at Triple-A, but decided it did not make sense to have both Austin and Chris Carter on the roster. Cashman was asked whether he needs to see more production from Carter, who entered Tuesday batting .180 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 41 games.

"He's a pro. I think he knows that obviously he's got to perform for continued playing time," Cashman said. "He doesn't need to be told that. I think everybody that's taking the field out there with expectations knows that performance is an important part of it. If not, we're forced to make decisions."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman