The ice pack strapped to Alfonso Soriano’s throwing shoulder was a sign that all is not OK with the Yankees’ outfielder/designated hitter.

“I started it last week, about five days ago,’’ Soriano said of the postgame ice program. “It was a little tight because I hadn’t thrown in so long.’’

A nasty flu slowed Soriano at the start of camp and the shoulder only hurt when throwing, not hitting.
“There are enough games left, time to get stronger,’’ said Soriano, who started Tuesday night’s 6-0 loss to the Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field in right field and went 0-for-3. “I want to make sure on Opening Day I am 100 percent. I get a massage before the game and ice after the game. Saturday will be the last day because Opening Day is Tuesday and I don’t want to do nothing.’’

Even if Jacoby Ellsbury doesn’t play in a major league spring training game from Wednesday to Saturday the Yankees’ projected center fielder and leadoff hitter believes he will be ready for Tuesday’s season opener in Houston.

“I have been running the last few days very hard, I feel very confident,’’ Ellsbury said about being in the lineup against the Astros in Houston. “I feel I could hop in there and play right now and be ready to. I feel I will be ready.’’

Ellsbury, who hasn’t played since March 14 due to a right calf problem. Tuesday he went 1-for-4 and walked twice in a minor league game between Yankee teams from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton.

Ellsbury didn’t play the field and didn’t run the bases after walking and lining a single to center off right-hander Jaron Long, the son of Yankees’ hitting coach Kevin Long.

The Yankees might keep Ellsbury away from big league games for the remainder of the exhibition season. This way if he re-injures the calf he can be back-dated on the DL to March 21. If he suffers an injury in a big league exhibition Ellsbury can’t be back-dated.