NEW YORK (AP) – Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said injured reliever Pedro Feliciano was “abused” by the New York Mets the last few years.

Feliciano, on the disabled list with a strained left rotator cuff, has made 344 relief appearances since 2007, a major league record for a four-year stretch. He led the majors in appearances each of the last three seasons, including a career-high 92 outings in 2010.

“He was abused,” Cashman said. “The use pattern was abusive.”

Still, the Yankees signed the left-handed specialist to an $8 million, two-year contract in January that includes a club option for 2013.

But not without reservations.

“It’s a thin market when you’re out there looking for lefties and he’s one of the better ones out there,” Cashman said. “But yeah, you don’t typically run to sign up guys that have been used like that.”

Is he convinced that Feliciano’s arm is sound? Cashman crossed his fingers.

“I wouldn’t say I’m convinced. I’m just saying it’s a limited market,” he said.

Feliciano was shut down with a sore shoulder during the final week of spring training. He said Saturday that he feels better and expects to begin playing catch Wednesday or Thursday.

Cashman said Feliciano is expected back later this month after missing the first few weeks of the season.

“The MRI itself obviously shows what he’s got and (that’s what) leads us to believe all this is resolvable and it’s not a major issue, it’s just a timing issue,” Cashman said. “But we do expect him to get back and pitch.”

Updated April 2, 2011 © 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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