Yanks recall Veras to steady bullpen
Righty fills Hughes' spot; evaluation of Kennedy continues
NEW YORK -- With an open spot on their 25-man roster, the Yankees moved on Friday to add an additional reliever to their bullpen, recalling right-hander Jose Veras from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Veras takes the roster spot left open by right-hander Phil Hughes, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday with what was eventually diagnosed as a stress fracture in his ninth rib.
"It gives us an extra guy in the bullpen for a while because we don't need a fifth starter until May 10," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Veras, 27, had nine saves and a 1.38 ERA in 13 relief appearances at Triple-A, allowing eight hits while walking four and striking out 21 over 13 innings. The Yankees plan to call up right-hander Darrell Rasner from Triple-A to make Sunday's start against the Mariners.
Because the Yankees need a fifth starter just three times in May, Girardi said the club continues to discuss and evaluate the case of right-hander Ian Kennedy. The 23-year-old allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision on Thursday and is 0-2 with a 8.37 ERA through six games this year.
Kennedy stated after Thursday's start that he did not feel he would benefit from being sent to Triple-A.
"I feel fine," Kennedy said. "I think it would make me more frustrated. I think it's just [helpful] to be out there more and work my situations out on the mound. This past week, I've been throwing really good bullpens, and my work has been really good."
Girardi responded by saying on Friday that he believed Kennedy had been in situations in which he could have thrown better pitches and avoided bad counts.
"When I think of a guy that doesn't need to make adjustments, he's rolling along at 15 pitches per inning or less," Girardi said. "[Kennedy's] innings still are a little bit longer than I would like to see. You want to get him into the sixth or seventh."
Girardi said that the changes in the Yankees' rotation do not affect their plans for Joba Chamberlain, which are conducted independently of what may happen with Hughes, Kennedy or any other pitcher.
"Our plans for Chamberlain continue with him in the bullpen," Girardi said. "I'm sure as months go on and weeks go on, conversations will continue to take place. But as of right now, I would say for the time being he's still in our bullpen."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.