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03/28/11 9:53 PM ET

Granderson says he'll be ready for first series

TAMPA, Fla. -- Monday's inclement weather has put a wrinkle into Curtis Granderson's plans as the outfielder tries to mend a strained right oblique and avoid a trip to the disabled list.

Heavy rains forced Granderson to work out indoors and swing in the batting cages at George M. Steinbrenner Field, though he still anticipates he will be ready to play in the Yankees' first series -- if not on Opening Day.

"I think I just need to play, whether it's here or on the Minor League side," Granderson said. "I need to play, and they need to see how I go, both offensively and defensively and on the bases."

The Yankees plan to have Granderson play in a Minor League game on Tuesday and another one on Wednesday, weather permitting. He would then fly to New York and join the team in time for Thursday's game against the Tigers.

"I feel that [being in the lineup] around that date, or very close to it, is really good," Granderson said. "The big thing again, like today and potentially [on Tuesday] with the rain is, when can I play?"

If Granderson goes on the DL retroactively, he could be eligible to play on April 6.

Chris Dickerson was acquired from the Brewers last week in part to serve as an option in case Granderson misses the beginning of the season, but Dickerson injured his left hamstring in his first spring game after taking the field with what he thought was minor tightness.

"It's really unfortunate," Dickerson said. "I tried to come out here and make a good impression and didn't tell anybody. That's my fault."

Feliciano to begin season on disabled list

TAMPA, Fla. -- Pedro Feliciano's calling card has been his durability, as the left-hander led the Majors in relief outings in each of the last three seasons.

Yet when the Yankees tip their caps at the first-base line on Thursday at Yankee Stadium, Feliciano will be watching on television.

The 34-year-old is beginning the season on the disabled list because of soreness in his left shoulder and will remain behind at the team's complex in Tampa.

"It hurts," Feliciano said. "I want to be there with the team."

Signing with the Yankees this year after previously pitching across town with the Mets, Feliciano has not seen duty on a mound since March 9, attributing his discomfort to a strenuous workout in the gym the previous day.

The Yankees are entertaining the idea of carrying left-hander Steve Garrison or right-hander Luis Ayala to take Feliciano's place on the roster, but Feliciano is not expecting his absence to linger past a couple of weeks.

"As soon as I don't feel pain in my arm, I think a couple of bullpens, and I'd be ready," Feliciano said. "My arm doesn't get tight, it gets loose quick. I think that's why I've pitched a lot of games in the big leagues. Hopefully, the pain goes away quick."

Colon happy to be back in the bigs

TAMPA, Fla. -- Bartolo Colon put up the numbers this spring to state his case for being in the rotation, but he is happy just to have made it back to the big leagues.

Colon, 37, will be on a Major League roster for the first time since 2009, having stamped his ticket by posting a 2.40 ERA in four spring starts spanning 15 innings.

"I feel very happy," Colon said through an interpreter. "I thank the Yankees for giving me the opportunity to be back in the Major Leagues again."

Colon walked one and struck out 17 this spring, posting better numbers than Freddy Garcia (5.93 ERA in 13 2/3 innings), but the Yankees believed Colon would be a better fit for their bullpen.

"I feel good wherever they need me," Colon said. "I didn't pitch last year. I'm glad that I made the team.

"I just need to prepare mentally. I haven't done that in a long time. Whatever they need, I just want to be there for them."

Colon was tabbed by the Yankees after he excelled pitching for bench coach Tony Pena's club in winter ball and quickly became one of manager Joe Girardi's most pleasant surprises of the spring. And Girardi isn't the only one who was surprised.

"It surprised me a lot," Colon said. "I haven't pitched like that in a long time."

Millwood arrives at Yankees camp

TAMPA, Fla. -- If Kevin Millwood had accepted the Yankees' standing offer earlier, he might have been preparing to go north with the team instead of trying on his pinstripes for the first time.

"It probably would have been nice to get here a little earlier," Millwood said. "But it's not going to do me any good to look back on it now. Now it's just trying to get ready, do what they want me to do and see where it takes me."

Millwood, 36, arrived in camp on Monday and is ready to get to work after spending most of his offseason in California waiting for a big league offer that never came.

"I definitely thought something would come earlier, but then again, you never know what's going to happen in the market," he said. "I'm happy now with where I'm at, and hopefully, I can help this club get to where it wants to go."

Slated to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Millwood said because he worked out at UC-Irvine, he feels ready to pitch about three or four innings already.

Millwood acknowledged that he has a clause in his contract permitting him to become a free agent if he is not added to the Major League roster by May 1.

"I expect to get back in the big leagues and help the team win," he said. "If I didn't feel like that, I'd be back at home. I feel like I can help a team get to wherever they want to go."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.