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Exec Lopez to Sori: Take a few weeks off

Yankees relief pitcher Rafael Soriano said executive vice

Yankees relief pitcher Rafael Soriano said executive vice president Felix Lopez suggested that the reliever take one to two weeks off "just to be safe." Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rafael Soriano apparently is getting -- and the Yankees certainly hope not taking -- medical advice from an unlikely source.

The enigmatic reliever, speaking to reporters after Monday night's loss, said his right elbow still is sore, the reason Joe Girardi cut his pregame bullpen session short.

Girardi said Soriano will head back to New York Tuesdayto meet with team physician Christopher Ahmad. But in news that is likely to raise the eyebrows of, among others, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, Soriano said executive vice president Felix Lopez suggested that the reliever take one to two weeks off "just to be safe."

Lopez intercepted Soriano after his bullpen session and accompanied the reliever down the dugout steps and into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse.

General manager Brian Cashman did not return a text seeking comment and a team spokesman said late Monday night that Lopez was serving as an "intermediary" between the training staff and Soriano.

The reliever also gave his take on the team's six-game losing streak.

"The bullpen is not the problem," he said. "I think it [is] the hitters. Those things happen sometimes."

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