Pregame: Martin, Gardy and, yes, Feliciano

June, 26, 2012
6/26/12
6:10
PM ET
Russell Martin's stiff lower back is causing him to miss his third straight game tonight, and if Joe Girardi's assessment was accurate, he's not likely to play tomorrow either. The manager said Martin would take some swings in the cage, and if that went well, he would move on to BP on the field with the rest of the team, and if that went well, "he'll probably be a player for me tomorrow.'' Martin did his work in the cage and went out to stretch, but did not take live BP, a possible indication that things did not go as expected. We'll have an update after the game.

• Girardi said it was a coincidence that Dewayne Wise got a rare left field start tonight the day after he hit a home run and a triple and knocked in three runs in Monday's 7-1 win over the Indians. "I had planned on playing him a little bit,'' Girardi said of Wise, who started in CF on Monday. "We're seeing a lot of right-handers so I'm trying to give Raul (Ibanez, tonight's DH) a day. It's also a way of getting some more speed into our lineup.''

• The Yankees have the framework of a plan for Brett Gardner's latest rehab, and contrary to what Gardner has been saying, it does not involve his return until after the All-Star break. Girardi said Gardner would accompany the team to Tampa after Sunday's game, and "at some point next week'' will take some dry swings. As to whether a return before the All-Star break was realistic, Girardi said "No. We've had a couple of setbacks and we're not 100 percent sure we won't have another. He'll have to lay some rehab games after the All-Star break before he can come back.'' Girardi said the third week of July is more realistic. At the earliest.

• Here's a name you thought you'd never hear again in regards to the Yankees: Pedro Feliciano. The left-handed reliever, who had major rotator cuff surgery last year, threw a bullpen in Tampa this week and Girardi said it was "not impossible'' that the 35-year-old, who has yet to throw a pitch for the Yankees, could make an appearance sometime this season. "If he's throwing bullpens and doesn't have a lot of setbacks, I think it's realistic,'' Girardi said. "If Pedro thought he was never going to pitch again, he probably wouldn't put himself through all this rehab and grueling stuff he's been through. We'll kind of keep our fingers crossed.''
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146