NEW YORK -- Tuesday did not bring good news for the Yankees' bullpen. The relief corps lost Luis Ayala, who sustained an injury to his lat muscle on Saturday, to the 15-day disabled list. Pedro Feliciano, who played catch Tuesday for the first time in two weeks, will have another MRI on his strained rotator cuff after a doctor's examination.
The Yankees did not announce who would take Ayala's spot on the roster.
Manager Joe Girardi announced the developments following the postponement of Tuesday's game between the Yankees and the Orioles in the Bronx.
Prior to the washout, Feliciano said he felt good after his first game of catch in 14 days. But an examination by the doctor will require an MRI on Wednesday.
"Wasn't that bad," Feliciano said of how he felt. "It didn't feel like me. My arm was loose. It wasn't tight. It wasn't me. I just don't feel like it was me.
"I was so happy to play catch today. We'll see what happens with the MRI and go on from there."
"It's a concern," Girardi said. "We were hoping after these two weeks, we'd be able to take the next step and then the next step, and we're just not there yet."
In Feliciano's absence, the Yankees have carried Boone Logan as their lone left-handed reliever. Damaso Marte, another southpaw, is on the 60-day disabled list after surgery to correct a torn labrum in his shoulder.
"You go on at the pace that you can go at, but you can't rush it, because we don't want any setbacks," Girardi said before Tuesday's game was rained out. "So I can't tell you exactly when he is going to be back. He has a ways to go in the sense of hurdles he has to clear. He has to be able to play catch, he has to be able to play long-toss, he has to be able to throw on flat ground, bullpen, games and he has to be able to recover."
Ayala has pitched five innings in three appearances this season.
"Instead of saying he might be back in four or five days, we're just going to be smart and make sure we have enough pitching," Girardi said.
The Yankees could consider bringing up left-hander Steve Garrison, a Minor League starter who earned consideration for the bullpen in Spring Training.
Hughes, Yankees not overreacting to struggles
NEW YORK -- Phil Hughes only appears in one out of every five Yankees games, but a slow start to 2011 has made those four days in between the subject of a great deal of attention. From his bullpen sessions to his long-tosses to his games of catch, Hughes' activities have been parsed for any sign that his trademark fastball will return to its usual speed for his next start.
"It's no fun to sit on a bad outing for four days," said Hughes, who lasted two innings and allowed six runs in Boston on Friday. "I'm excited to go out there and get things going again and hopefully work on some things and get going back the way I need to go."
Through two starts this season, Hughes had allowed 11 runs in six innings (a 16.50 ERA), walked four and struck out one batter. His fastball has averaged 89.4 mph after a mark of 92.5 in 2010. But Hughes, who has said the problem results from a lack of arm strength, won't know if the pace has returned until he takes the mound in a game. In the event that his fastball is again sluggish, Hughes says, he'll have to find another way to succeed.
"I feel good, but it's impossible to tell," Hughes said. "If it's not there, I still have to pitch and get outs and keep us in the game. I can't go out there if I'm not throwing 94 or 95 and just say, 'This is a bad one.' I have to find a way to battle and go through it and hopefully pitch as well as I can. I'm not going to immediately have bad thoughts in my head if I'm not throwing as hard as I can."
Hughes said this weekend that he and pitching coach Larry Rothschild made a mechanical change, but that he doesn't want to do too much between starts.
"I'm going to do everything I can do on the side and hopefully it works itself out," he said. "There's a fine line between doing too much. I don't want to overextend my arm. It's just a matter of doing everything I do and hopefully it translates."
Manager Joe Girardi doesn't want to overreact based on two starts, no matter how discouraging the outings have been. Hughes' career has been filled with ups and downs, and Girardi has seen the 24-year-old bounce back before.
"There were expectations on him in '08 and he struggled, and he came up in '09 and took over and really did a good job in the bullpen for us," Girardi said. "Last year he struggled a bit in July in August, and I thought he was pretty good in September and started in the playoffs against Minnesota. So he has shown that he is capable of rebounding."
Besides helping the Yankees, Hughes knows another benefit a faster fastball -- and a quality outing -- would have.
"It would make answering these questions a lot easier," he said.
Weather has kept Martin fresh for Yankees
NEW YORK -- Russell Martin is the only catcher in Major League Baseball to have played every inning of every game for his team this season. According to his manager, the new Yankees backstop can thank the scheduling and the weather for that distinction.
Martin was to have the April 6 game against Minnesota off, but rain washed that game out. The off-days inserted into the Yankees' schedule and the abundance of day games has made it easier for manager Joe Girardi to have his regular catcher in the lineup every day."Workload for every one of my players is always on the back of my mind," Girardi, a former catcher, said before Tuesday's game against the Orioles. "There's been a lot made of how many games Russell has played. But he has not played more than four games in a row. I have not played him in a day game after a night game. Our days off have fallen very strategically for Russell, up until this point."
Before rain postponed Tuesday's game against the Orioles, Girardi said Martin's first off-day would come Friday against the Rangers. With Jorge Posada entrenched as the designated hitter and Francisco Cervelli recovering from a fractured foot, the backup duties have fallen to Gustavo Molina. But those responsibilities haven't required any game action.
Martin started 428 games at catcher with the Dodgers from 2007 to 2009. A hip injury limited him to 89 starts in 2010 and ended his season after Aug. 3.
"I am conscious of catchers, believe me," Girardi said. "I have been through that workload and I know what it can do to you."
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.