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Feliciano likely to begin year on DL

Pedro Feliciano throws during spring training at George

Pedro Feliciano throws during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner field in Tampa. (Feb. 14, 2011) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Pedro Feliciano is all but certain of starting the season on the disabled list. "He played catch today and didn't feel great," Joe Girardi said Sunday afternoon. "It's pretty hard to think that he would start with us."

He said a decision probably will be made Monday. If Feliciano is put on the DL, Girardi hinted that lefty Steve Garrison will be considered as his replacement. Garrison, 24, made his seventh exhibition appearance Sunday against the Twins, allowing a run, two hits and a walk in 12/3 innings. He has a 5.59 ERA.

"We've been impressed with the way he's been throwing the ball in spring training for us," Girardi said. "And he can give you a little distance, too, because he's been a starter."

Feliciano has not pitched since March 9 because of muscle soreness where his left shoulder socket meets the armpit.

Decisions, decisions

Eric Chavez, signed to a minor-league contract Feb. 10, can opt out of the deal and become a free agent if he's not informed by Monday that he's on the roster, all but a formality. Chavez, 33, who played in only 64 games the last three seasons, has been productive, hitting .405 in 17 games. "You saw the bat speed," Girardi said. "Right when he got to camp, I saw the bat speed. I said, wow, if he's healthy, he can really help us."

He said decisions on the middle infielder and backup catcher could be announced Monday.

Good day for Grandy

Curtis Granderson (oblique) had a "good day," Girardi said, and is likely to take batting practice Monday. "That's a good sign," said Girardi, adding that he's more optimistic about Granderson and Opening Day than he was Saturday, but "you still want to see it turned up."

The prognosis is unclear for outfielder Chris Dickerson, who left Saturday's game with cramping and spasms in his left hamstring after collecting three hits. "Still not sure if it's a slight strain or just a cramp," Girardi said. "He did take BP today."

No worries

Andruw Jones' average is at .171, but Girardi isn't concerned. "I've watched his at-bats; he's worked on some things," he said. "We brought Andruw in to play against lefthanders and the majority of his at-bats have been against righthanders. I'm happy with what he's done. You don't get too caught up with spring training numbers. You go more with history."

Extra bases

Pat Venditte, the Yankees' "switch pitcher," made his 2011 debut, walking a batter in one-third of an inning. "Interesting," pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. "That's a first for me." . . . The Astros returned RHP Lance Pendleton, a Rule 5 pick, to the Yankees. He'll be assigned to Scranton . . . Kevin Millwood, signed to a minor-league deal Friday, arrived in Tampa Sunday .. . . The Yankees were among the many teams who have looked at Cubs starter Carlos Silva, who was released Sunday. Silva had a dreadful spring training, which included a dugout confrontation with Aramis Ramirez and culminated with him ripping team brass in the media.

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