TORONTO -- Left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano made his second rehab appearance with the Yankees' Rookie Gulf Coast League affiliate on Friday.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Feliciano threw 17 or 18 pitches over one inning of work, and that the skipper expects Feliciano to get some days off before he returns to the mound.
Feliciano hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2010 -- when he was a member of the Mets -- after undergoing rotator cuff surgery on his pitching shoulder.
Girardi said the plan for Feliciano could be similar to that of Joba Chamberlain's, where he is given a little bit of extra rest before each outing, but that it is possible Feliciano could join New York's roster in September.
"That is our hope," Girardi said when asked if Feliciano could join the Yankees this season. "He went through a real serious injury, but he's determined to get back. I hope he is able to continue and progress for us."
Girardi admitted he is a little bit surprised that Feliciano is even on the team's radar for 2012.
"But the thing about who he is and the struggles that he had to get through to be successful, he has had to overcome things. He was going to do everything he could to get back."
The Yankees inked Feliciano to a two-year, $8 million deal prior to the 2011 season, but the 35-year-old has yet to don the pinstripes. New York has a $4.5 million club option on him for 2013. He is 22-19 with a 3.31 ERA in 459 career relief appearances over eight big league seasons.
Ichiro gets start in center as Girardi rests Grandy
TORONTO -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a slight tweak to his lineup for Friday's series opener against the Blue Jays.
Girardi gave Curtis Granderson a day off and replaced him in center field with Ichiro Suzuki.
"I was going to give him one of these three [games] off," Girardi said about Granderson. "Ichiro will probably get one of the three, I just chose to do it today.
"Hopefully it kind of reenergizes him [Granderson] with a day game [Sunday in Detroit]. Physically, it's a grind, there is no doubt about it. Give him a little bit more life."
Ichiro played center field for the first time since 2008, and he admitted before the game that it would require an adjustment.
"In right field, I don't need to think," Ichiro said. "It all depends on what the team needs."
Ichiro has played six games in left field with the Yankees since coming over from Seattle after playing in right exclusively with the Mariners. Girardi says it is not common to have a starting player that can play all three outfield spots, but he considers it a luxury.
"It's unusual to have a starter that can do that," Girardi said. "Not necessarily maybe a role player in that sense. But to have a starter ... it's somewhat unusual."
Girardi said because of the artificial turf in Toronto, he will juggle his lineup over the three-game set at Rogers Centre.
He also plans to get first baseman Mark Teixeira off the field for one of the games, but didn't say whether he would use him as the team's designated hitter.
"It can wear on your legs a little bit playing on this turf," Girardi said.
Phelps happy to have Yanks' faith in big spot
TORONTO -- In New York's 4-3, come-from-behind win over the Tigers on Sunday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi turned to rookie reliever David Phelps in the eighth inning to face Detroit's heart of the order.
Phelps was tasked with going against Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Austin Jackson before turning the ball over to closer Rafael Soriano.
The 25-year-old Phelps, who got two outs to help preserve New York's lead, said he was surprised he was used in such a such a high-leverage spot.
"It's definitely the first time I've been in that situation," Phelps said. "I could feel it out there a little bit. But I was able to go out there and make some pitches. I was fortunate to miss some of those bats."
Phelps has done a terrific job with the Yankees this season, as he carried a 2.42 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 56 strikeouts in 52 innings into Friday's opener against Toronto.
He feels he has progressed a great deal since the beginning of the year, and believes he will continue to the more responsibility the Yankees place on him.
"I've been throwing the ball well lately and just ... that they have the confidence in me to throw me out there in that situation, is huge," Phelps said.
Girardi said he expects to be fined, without further punishment, for his fifth-inning ejection on Sunday in Detroit, in which he disputed a call with third-base umpire Tim Welke.
"I talked to [Major League Baseball's] Joe [Torre] a little bit today. Just told him my side of the story," Girardi said.
Alex Rodriguez, who is on the disabled list recovering from a fractured left hand, made New York's trip to Toronto and took one-handed swings with his right hand off a tee prior to the game. Girardi said he still doesn't have a clear picture of when Rodriguez will be back.
"The next X-ray will probably give us a better idea how close we are to getting him back, when we get home," Girardi said.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.