Cashman: Mets overworked Feliciano
Yankees' general manager calls club's use of lefty 'abusive'
NEW YORK -- Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Saturday that he believes the Mets' workload for left-hander Pedro Feliciano was "abusive."
Feliciano is on the disabled list with a left rotator cuff strain and has not pitched in a game since March 9.
Feliciano is scheduled to resume playing catch on Wednesday, and Cashman said he believes Feliciano could make his Yankees debut in late April or early May.
"He was abused," Cashman said. "The concern is based on the MRI. The use pattern was abusive, but the MRI itself obviously shows what he's got. That leads us to believe this is resolvable and not a major issue."
Feliciano has led the Majors in relief outings in each of the last three seasons, setting a Major League record with 266 appearances over the three-season stretch.
The 34-year-old left-hander said his shoulder feels "weak," but it is improving and he is having his strength checked daily by doctors. He also said that the Mets were not to blame for his being on the disabled list to start this season.
Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen defended Feliciano's workload, saying the left-hander only wanted to help his former team.
"I feel badly that someone feels that way," Warthen said of Cashman's comments. "That was part of the reason we decided to not re-sign him -- because we knew we had used him 270-some times in the last three years.
"They didn't know that when they signed him? He volunteered for the baseball every day. He was asked whether he was able to pitch. He said, 'Yes' every day -- every day -- and wanted to pitch more than we even pitched him."
Cashman gave Feliciano a two-year, $8 million deal to switch boroughs as a situational lefty and said that the free-agent market forced him to cross his fingers and hope Feliciano would be healthy.
"It's a thin market when you're out there looking for lefties, and he's obviously one of the better ones out there," Cashman said. "You don't typically run to sign up guys that have been used like that."
Teixeira hoping extra cage work pays
NEW YORK -- The loud thwacks echoed off Mark Teixeira's bat at all hours this spring, as the Yankees' first baseman spent extra time in the batting cage hoping to ward off another slow start.
Through one game, at least, Teixeira loved the early results. A .136 batter last April, Teixeira already had a three-run homer to show for his season -- slugged off the Tigers' Justin Verlander on Opening Day Thursday -- when he reported for the Yankees' second game. The first baseman kept up his hot hitting on Saturday with another three-run homer, going deep off Brad Penny in the second inning.
"I've been petitioning the league to start in March for years," Teixeira said. "Everybody knows about my Aprils."
It has been by far the cruelest month for Teixeira, who owns a career average of .235 in April. His next driest month is June, in which he's hit .273 lifetime.
Teixeira said he was not satisfied with accepting the fact that he is a slow starter and spent more time in the cages this spring with hitting coach Kevin Long, using his spare time there instead of in the gym.
"Being a switch-hitter, I have to swing about twice as much anyway," Teixeira said. "With all the work that you put in defensively and in the weight room, running sprints in Spring Training, sometimes your swing is the last thing you think about.
"You just figure, 'Oh, I've always been able to hit; I'll be ready.' This spring, I really made sure my swing was right."
Yanks reminded not to use signals
NEW YORK -- Because Yankee Stadium's scoreboard radar went on the blink in Thursday afternoon's season opener, the Yankees wound up on Major League Baseball's radar.Joe Garagiola Jr., MLB's senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, called the Yankees on Saturday to remind them about baseball operations bulletin C-4, which forbids using hand signals to communicate with players about pitch types and speed. Brett Weber, a coaching assistant seated in the stands near home plate, was gesturing pitch speeds to on-deck batters because the usual scoreboard notification was inaccurate. At least one pitch was shown over 900 mph. According to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, Weber was also wearing a headset so that he could communicate the pitch types to the scoreboard operations crew, showing that information atop the large center-field scoreboard.
Cashman said that the Yankees expect no disciplinary measures from the call. He senses that Garagiola agrees the guideline needs revision, and he expected that the topic would soon be presented to Joe Torre, MLB's new executive vice president of baseball operations.
"I think [Garagiola] recognizes the fact that there's no real advantage here," Cashman said. "At the same time, there is a bulletin out that says you're not supposed to do that. It's just one of those things, like pine tar. I think it's really silly, personally."Newscaster Keith Olbermann apparently snapped a picture of Weber's gestures and posted it on Twitter, triggering a blogosphere brushfire. "It was nothing extraordinary," Olbermann said. "It didn't look to be any kind of sign language. Everything I saw was clearly after the fact. It was not suggestive of sign-stealing or anything like that." Cashman took a swipe at certain social media circles that jumped all over the incident. "The psychotics that obsessed about it all day [on Friday], I feel that we did them a favor by keeping them off the street and preventing them from hurting others," Cashman said.
In Thursday's season opener, Curtis Granderson homered off Phil Coke in what was his first at-bat of the season against a lefty. Granderson didn't homer off a lefty in 2010 until his 36th at-bat, facing the Orioles' Brian Matusz on June 1. ... Also on Thursday, 41-year-old closer Mariano Rivera surpassed Jim Kaat as the oldest pitcher in Yankees history to record a save, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Kaat was 40 years old and 312 days when he closed out a win against the Tigers on Sept. 15, 1979. ... The Yankees started the same infielders and outfielders for two consecutive Opening Days, the first time that has happened since 1926 and '27, according to Elias. The last time New York had the same outfielders for back-to-back Opening Days was 1967-68 (Tom Tresh, Joe Pepitone, Bill Robinson).
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.