NEW YORK -- The Yankees promoted infielders Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder among a group of eight initial callups when rosters expanded to 40 players earlier this week. Though Joe Girardi has not seen many opportunities to offer them playing time, the manager expects that to change soon.
Girardi opted to start the right-handed hitting Brendan Ryan at second base on Saturday against Rays left-hander Matt Moore, but said there should be plenty of at-bats for Pirela and Refsnyder as the month continues. Refsnyder is the team's No. 6 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.
"I debated long and hard about what to do today, but we decided to go with Brendan," Girardi said. "Brendan has been here and our extra infielder, in a sense, all year, even though he's been hurt. Those other two will probably get in the mix, but I decided to go with Brendan today."
Refsnyder has not appeared since he was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was hitting .271/.359/.402 with nine homers and 56 RBIs in 117 games. A converted outfielder, the Yankees like his bat but there have been questions about his defense.
Pirela hit .325/.390/.433 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 60 games at Triple-A and has appeared in 30 games for New York this season -- most recently as an eighth-inning pinch-hitter on Wednesday at Boston.
"I think we'll use them more as we get into this stretch of the 30 out of 31 days," Girardi said. "We just had a day off, we had six games and then a day off. As we get into this, you'll probably see more guys start playing."
• Jacoby Ellsbury (upset stomach) was improving on Saturday morning, according to Girardi, but the manager opted to keep him out of the lineup against Tampa Bay. Ellsbury left Friday's 5-1 win over the Rays after the fourth inning.
"He feels better today than he did. But with him throwing up last night and dehydration, I figured I'd give him today [off]," Girardi said. "He'll be available to me unless he takes a turn [for the worst] and gets sick again. Right now, he's better."
• CC Sabathia continues to tentatively be listed as the Yanks' probable starter for Wednesday vs. Baltimore. Sabathia threw a simulated game on Friday at Yankee Stadium, as he attempts to return from a stint on the disabled list for right knee inflammation. Girardi said he would prefer not to use Sabathia in relief.
"If he feels good, our plan is for him to start on Wednesday," Girardi said. "Coming out of the bullpen right now would not be something that he would be used to, and the amount of time it takes to warm up [would be new]. So, right now, our plan is to go on Wednesday with him, depending on how he feels the next couple of days."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.