TAMPA, Fla. - The Yankees signed Chris Capuano in the offseason with the intention of breaking camp with the lefthander as a possible fifth starter. Instead, Capuano, 36, is likely to start the season on the disabled list.

"It's disappointing,'' said Capuano, who suffered a Grade 2 strain in his right quadriceps Wednesday while covering first base. "I've been feeling really good physically in throwing the ball. It's a setback, but I've had little injuries in the past and I know how to work through them. Hopefully it won't be too long.''

It will be long enough for the Yankees to have to find someone else for the No. 5 spot to begin the season. Before Thursday night's game against the Braves, Joe Girardi said that someone is likely to come from the trio of Adam Warren, Chase Whitley and Esmil Rogers, who were told during the offseason to prepare as if they were starters.

Capuano won't try to throw for at least two weeks and then will have to be stretched out. He likely will spend most of April rehabbing. "It's going to be a while,'' Girardi said. "He's not going to do anything for at least a couple of weeks. Nothing. And we're so early in the process [of stretching him out], you're going to almost have to start over.''

Gregorius leaves game

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Didi Gregorius left Thursday night's game with two outs in the fifth after being hit on the back of his right leg by Braves righthander Michael Kohn. The pitch appeared to hit him in his hamstring area. "I'm good," said Gregorius, who was scheduled to come out in the next half-inning.

Brendan Ryan, who has been out for the last two weeks with a back injury, has started taking dry swings but is not close. "He's still a ways away,'' Girardi said.