- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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New York Yankees
Pedro Feliciano was scratched from his scheduled Gulf Coast League appearance last Saturday due to "bad soreness", according to Joe Girardi. The manager also revealed that off-season surgery is being considered an option to repair Feliciano's left shoulder tear.
When discussing Feliciano's health, Girardi mentioned the ominous possibility of the surgery ending Feliciano's career.
"I don’t know if he’ll try to get through this, try again, or if he’s going to have surgery," Girardi said. "If he has surgery, he’s gonna miss a whole year anyway, and it might be career."
Feliciano pitched a perfect inning in a rehab outing on Aug. 25. Girardi said the left-hander felt "sore" at some point after the appearance.
"The plans after Thursday, because he felt good, was he was going to pitch Saturday. But it never materialized," the manager said.
The Yankees signed Feliciano, 35, to a two-year $8 million dollar contract prior to the 2011 season. If he has surgery and misses 2012, Feliciano will have collected all $8 million without throwing a pitch.
When Feliciano originally hurt his left rotator cuff in spring training, the Yankees believed he would have season-ending surgery. But the team and Feliciano ultimately opted forgo surgery with the hope that Feliciano could rehabilitate the injury without going under the knife.
Earlier this month, Girardi said there was a slight chance that the Yankees could see Feliciano and fellow injured lefty reliever Damaso Marte back in the Bronx sometime in September.
But the manager strongly suggested that that was no longer a possibility.
"I think knowing the severity of Feliciano’s injury, I held out a little bit of hope, but I thought it would be really difficult for him to get back. I wasn’t sure on Marte because he had had the surgery and you didn’t know. We knew the surgery was a serious surgery and we didn’t really know how he was gonna respond to it."
Marte also experienced soreness - the bad kind, Girardi said - after his Aug. 25 Gulf Coast League outing, in which he gave up six hits and six earned runs in 2/3 innings.
As far as Feliciano goes, the former Met found himself in the middle of a media controversy earlier this season when Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he was 'abused' by the Mets.
Feliciano led the majors in appearances the last three seasons, and became just the fifth pitcher in MLB history to make 90 or more appearances in 2010.
'“He was abused,” Cashman said in early April. “It’s a thin market when you’re looking for lefties, and he’s one of the better ones out there. But you don’t typically go after a guy who’s been used like that.”
Due to injuries to Marte and Feliciano, Boone Logan has been the lone specialist out of the Yankee bullpen. Logan has been impressive at times and has also struggled, failing to capture the form that allowed him to dominate in the second half of the 2011 season.
The Yankees haven't added a lefty reliever all season by may be call up lefty Manny Banuelos from Triple-A Scranton when rosters expand on Sept. 1. Banuelos has been discussed as an option out of the bullpen.