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7/13/2014 7:24 P.M. ET

Yankees option Almonte for pitching depth

BALTIMORE -- Taking caution in the event they played a lengthy game in the finale before the All-Star break at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Sunday, the Yankees optioned outfielder Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalled right-handed pitcher Bryan Mitchell.

"I'd rather be protected on the pitching side, just because Dellin [Betances] has been worked hard, [Adam] Warren has been worked hard," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "If you don't need them or something, you'd hate to have to use them."

Mitchell, 23, has never pitched in the Majors. He's spent this season split between Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton. With Trenton, Mitchell went 2-5 with a 4.84 in 14 appearances -- 13 starts. In one start for the RailRiders, Mitchell pitched four scoreless innings, with three strikeouts and four walks.

Almonte went 4-for-25 with one home run with the Yankees this season. Almonte is batting .279 with 13 home runs in 262 at-bats in Triple-A.

The move left New York with just three bench players and gave the Yankees seven relief pitchers.

Bombers bits

• David Phelps will start the first game for the Yankees against the Reds coming out of the All-Star break on Friday, followed by Brandon McCarthy and Hiroki Kuroda.

• New York still hasn't officially committed to a fifth starter to replace Masahiro Tanaka, but "obviously, Chase [Whitley] is the most built up," Girardi said.

• The Yankees officially designated relief pitcher Matt Daley for assignment to clear space for pitcher Jeff Francis on the 40-man roster.

David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.