Yanks to give Mitre a start against O's
Adding righty to rotation sends Aceves back to bullpen
NEW YORK -- Manager Joe Girardi said last week that he was glad the All-Star break was coming, as it gave him a few days to make a plan for the vacant fifth-starter spot in his team's rotation. Apparently, that was all the time he needed.
Girardi confirmed before Friday's game against the Tigers that right-hander Sergio Mitre will likely be called up from the Minors to start on Tuesday against the Orioles. With Chien-Ming Wang weeks away from returning from a shoulder injury, it appears that Mitre will be tapped as the solution for the foreseeable future.
Mitre, who has compiled a record of 10-23 in five seasons for the Cubs and Marlins, is 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this year.
It is unknown how long Mitre will be needed. Girardi said on Friday that Wang is expected to play catch this weekend and that there is no timetable for his recovery.
"Right now we're leaning toward Sergio Mitre," Girardi said. "Unless something happened and he fell and hurt himself, that's what we're leaning toward."
The decision to insert Mitre into the rotation sends Alfredo Aceves back to the bullpen. Aceves made a spot start in Minnesota on July 9 in Wang's place, and allowed three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in an eventual 6-4 Yankees win.
But Aceves was never considered a long-term fixture as a starter, mostly because of his success as a reliever throughout the year. The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.49 ERA and a save in 22 appearances.
"Ace is going to stay in the bullpen because we feel he is just too valuable to take him out of the bullpen right now," Girardi said. "We've used him in a number of different roles, whether we needed three innings out of him or we needed an inning and a hitter. In a sense he kind of gives you another left-hander out there."
To make room for Mitre, the Yankees will have to make a change on the 40-man roster. Seemingly, the most logical solution is to move outfielder Xavier Nady from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list, thereby opening a spot. Nady underwent Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery earlier this month and is out for the year.
Girardi remembers Mitre from his one-year stint managing Florida in 2006. That season, Mitre went 1-5 with a 5.71 ERA in 15 games, featuring a sinker, curveball and changeup. But despite their rather lackluster history together, Girardi saw a pitcher that season who has the ability to contribute to the Yankees now.
"He's going to throw a lot of strikes, and he's going to get a lot of ground balls when he's throwing the ball well," Girardi said. "I've always thought he has kind of a bulldog attitude. When you look at him, he's a pretty thick guy. I never thought he shied away from contact, and he loves to take the ball every fifth day."
Jared Diamond is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.