TORONTO -- There are no guarantees, but the Yankees hope that by selecting rehab over surgery, Pedro Feliciano will be able to pitch for them at some point this season.

Feliciano was advised to begin a six-week shoulder strengthening program on Monday, visiting Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla.

The 34-year-old left-hander has a capsule tear in his pitching shoulder, and going under the knife would put him out for at least all of the 2011 campaign.

"He's going to try to rehab it and we'll see if we can use him at some point this year," manager Joe Girardi said. "Sometimes players like to do that. Players don't want to miss full years. It's hard to take."

Girardi said that Feliciano will join the team after their five-game trip to Toronto and Baltimore and perform his rehab in New York.

Capsule tears can be a difficult injury to return from; former Yankees right-hander Chien-Ming Wang has still not pitched in a Major League game after suffering a similar injury in 2009.

"I think there's a risk in the surgery as well," Girardi said. "The injury that [Feliciano] has, there's no guarantees that the surgery is necessarily going to fix it by the end of next year anyway. It's kind of the game that you play."

Martin has fond memories of Toronto

TORONTO -- Russell Martin's fondest memory of baseball in Toronto happens to be the same as many who wander into Rogers Centre.

"Probably watching Joe Carter just jump up and down all the way around the bases when he hit the home run off Mitch Williams," Martin said. "That's my fondest memory, for sure."

Martin was a 10-year-old in Montreal when Carter touched them all on Oct. 23, 1993, watching the game with his father, Russell Sr., as the Blue Jays secured the Fall Classic against the Phillies.

Now that he is in the American League East, relative homecomings to Canada are a bit more frequent. Martin was born in Toronto, but he spent much of his childhood in Montreal, and he is sure that friends and acquaintances will be looking to reunite.

"I forgot my phone in New York, so I'm sure there's going to be a lot of people complaining about me not returning their messages and stuff," Martin said.

"Normally I have a little bit of family come down and watch me, but just being on the East Coast now, people can come down and see me in New York from Montreal. It's just as long [of] a drive to New York as Toronto."

While he was happy for the Blue Jays in 1992 and '93, Martin's favorite team was the Expos, rooting for players like Larry Walker, Delino DeShields and Marquis Grissom. When baseball left Montreal in 2004, Martin was sad to see it go.

"My dream was always just to play in Montreal, with them or against them," Martin said. "I think I was two years too late. That was the motivation growing up as a kid, to one day play against the Expos or for them."

Scuffling Gardner stays at bottom of lineup

TORONTO -- Brett Gardner was not in the leadoff spot again facing a right-handed starter on Tuesday, and the Yankees plan to keep the speedster near the bottom of the order until he works out his early-season slump.

The Yankees had planned to have Gardner lead off against righties and Derek Jeter against lefties this season, but that experiment has been put on hold. Gardner entered play on Tuesday batting .140 (6-for-43) with 14 strikeouts.

"His timing seems to be a little bit off," manager Joe Girardi said. "He seems to be a little bit late at times. It seems like when it's away, he's hitting it into the seats down the left-field line, and when it's in, he's getting jammed. Obviously he's very important to us and we're trying to get him on track."

Gardner impressed the Yankees with a good spring, following up on a campaign in which he hit .277 with a team-leading .383 on-base percentage in 150 games.

"He just needs to do what he did last year," Girardi said. "He needs to swing the bat better. He's scuffling right now. We were extremely pleased with how he swung the bat last year. This is a guy that just needs to get going."

With Gardner bumped to the ninth spot, Jeter led off on Tuesday, with Curtis Granderson hitting second.

Bombers bits

Outfielder Colin Curtis had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder on Friday. Curtis suffered the injury making a diving catch against the Astros on March 6 and had been trying to rehab, with little success. ... Catcher Francisco Cervelli caught in an extended Spring Training game on Monday in Tampa, Fla. Cervelli could catch for Class A Tampa by Friday as he returns from a fractured left foot. ... Entering play Tuesday, Russell Martin had allowed three stolen bases in 117 innings, tying Cleveland's Carlos Santana and Baltimore's Matt Wieters for the fewest among Major League catchers with a minimum of 100 innings.