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Monday, March 28, 2011
Feliciano out, Granderson doubtful for Opening Day

By Wallace Matthews

As expected, Pedro Feliciano will not be coming north when the Yankees break camp after Tuesday afternoon's Grapefruit League finale against the Tigers. Although the team hasn't made an announcement yet, Feliciano, suffering from soreness in an area he located in his left triceps area, said he will be staying behind in Tampa "for a couple of weeks.'' That will require the Yankees to add another reliever, either LHP Steve Garrison, or RHPs Luis Ayala or Mark Prior. We'll know more when Joe Girardi speaks to the media in an hour or so.

Meanwhile, as feared, Curtis Granderson, out with a strained oblique, is likely to miss Thursday's season opener against the Tigers. The latest blow is the rainstrm that is currently socking Tampa, putting tonight's game with the Rays in jeopardy and causing the Yankees to scuttle all pre-game on-field activities.

 That means Granderson, who took batting practice in the cage Sunday, will not have a chance to hit outside today, or probably, to play, because of the high likelihood of a rainout. And with rain in the forecast for Tuesday's spring finale, it is possible Granderson will not get any live game action before the opener.

 "As much as I’d like to go out on Opening Day, it’s hard to even if I’m 100 percent ready to jump in against (Justin Verlander) of all pitchers, and have to win,'' Granderson said. "If Verlander were throwing tonight we could go out and do some things and the results don’t matter. But it’s completely different come Thursday.''

 Granderson wasn't sure if he'd start the season on the DL -- if so, it would be backdated so he could be re-activated April 6 for the fifth game of the regular season, against the Twins at Yankee Stadium -- but made it seem as if playing on Thursday was a remote possibility.

 "I would be physically able to play,'' Granderson said. "At the same time, would I be the best piece for us to have out there at that time if I don’t play prior to it? That I don’t know. If my first time hasn't been in over a week, I don’t feel I would be the best particular person at that time.''