Shreve back in Yankees' bullpen

Shreve back in Yankees' bullpen

CHICAGO -- Yankees left-hander Chasen Shreve borrowed a slider grip from Masahiro Tanaka, which he believes helped him return to a big league mound on Tuesday, when he threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings in a 9-0 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Shreve rejoined the Yankees from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he posted a 2.70 ERA in six appearances. He credits pitching coach Larry Rothschild for helping him tweak the slider, which he has been throwing frequently to left-handed hitters.

"When I was rehabbing, Larry showed me a new grip like Tanaka uses. It seemed to help me a lot," Shreve said. "It helped me stay on top of the ball, and I threw it pretty good so far."

In a corresponding move, the Yankees optioned right-hander Luis Cessa to Triple-A, one day after he threw 47 pitches in relief during New York's 8-2 loss to the White Sox. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Cessa will return to the Triple-A rotation.

"I thought it was important that Cessa goes back and makes some starts and we keep him built up," Girardi said. "I thought Luis had made some progress, too. We thought his breaking ball was better. We want it to continue to improve."

Shreve recorded the last four outs of New York's blowout, pitching in relief of Tanaka, who scattered six hits over 7 2/3 scoreless frames. Shreve said that his fastball command has improved from earlier this season, when he hit an unprecedented rough patch with the home run ball.

He surrendered homers in back-to-back appearances on May 8 and 9 against the Red Sox and Royals, then served up a pair of blasts in a May 25 outing against the Blue Jays. That prompted his being placed on the disabled list with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder.

"I just feel like some good pitches got hit, and then some bad pitches got hit," said Shreve, who lowered his ERA from 5.21 to 4.87. "I'm usually not a guy who gives up a lot of homers, so I'm just going to go out there and pretend like it's a new year and start over and do it."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. 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.