Feliciano (left rotator cuff strain) is currently on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He is scheduled to begin throwing Wednesday. And depending how that goes, the Yankees will then determine how they want to proceed moving forward. He will need to complete a throwing program before he returns.
Feliciano led the majors in appearances the past three seasons, and in 2010, he became just the fifth pitcher in MLB history to make 90 or more appearances.
"He was abused," Cashman said. "It's a thin market when you're looking for lefties, and he's one of the better ones out there. But you don't typically go after a guy who's been used like that.
"The use pattern was abusive."
Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen says he is not an abuser.
Warthen said Feliciano's setting franchise records for appearances three straight years (86, 88 and 92 games) was done willingly by the southpaw.
Warthen said about the left-hander's heavy workload: "[The Yankees] didn't know that when they signed him? ... He volunteered for the baseball every day. He was asked whether he was able to pitch. He said 'yes' every day -- every day -- and wanted to pitch more than we even pitched him."
"I feel badly that [Cashman] feels that way," Warthen added. "That was part of the reason we decided to not re-sign [Feliciano] -- because we knew we had used him 270-some times in the last three years."
Felciano didn't think the Mets' usage of him contributed to his injury.
Feliciano, who has been undergoing treatment on the injury, said his shoulder is "getting stronger." But he "doesn't like being on the DL at all."
Feliciano inked a two-year, $8 million contract in the offseason with a club option for 2013.
Cashman said the best-case scenario for Feliciano's return would be "three weeks from when we shut him down for 10 days," or late April, early May.
However, he's not concerned that it's going to become anything major.
"We do expect him to get back," Cashman said. "It's not a major concern. If it becomes one, I'll let you know."
Asked if was an appropriate remark coming from the Yankees, an amused Warthen said: "As you guys well know, this is the free world. You can say whatever you want."
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin and Andrew Marchand and The Associated Press contributed to this report.