NEW YORK -- It took until their 25th game, but the Yankees have finally decided to carry a long reliever. It remains to be seen for how long.
With inclement weather in the forecast for this week's series against the Red Sox, the Yankees moved to recall right-hander Alfredo Aceves from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday, optioning right-hander Anthony Claggett in a corresponding move.
The Yankees spent most of Spring Training considering whether to select a long reliever from the group of Aceves, Dan Giese and Brett Tomko. In the end, New York took none of the three, choosing Jonathan Albaladejo instead.
Girardi said that Aceves, who was 2-0 with a 3.80 ERA at Triple-A, could stick with the Yankees, who could have used a long reliever in April on several occasions when they were forced to dip into their bullpen early in games. If Monday's performance is any indication, Aceves will receive plenty of chances. The right-hander followed Phil Hughes' four-inning start with 4 1/3 innings of his own, striking out seven and allowing two runs.
"So much of it depends on who's throwing the ball well," Girardi said. "Ace was very successful when we called him up last year. We threw him a little bit out of the bullpen, and then he made some pretty good starts for us.
"We believe that he has the ability to help us, and he has seemed to turn it around his last two starts at Scranton. We're encouraged by that. It's an arm that can have a lot of different pitches and can change speeds very well. He could be very helpful."
Aceves said that he was not surprised that he had missed making the team out of Spring Training, having posting a 4.60 ERA in six Grapefruit League appearances. The right-hander said that he did not feel 100 percent in Spring Training and would move his workout program up to November next offseason, compared to December this past winter.
In Aceves' last start at Triple-A, he threw eight scoreless innings against Lehigh Valley, earning the victory in a 7-0 win while allowing three hits and a walk, striking out six. Aceves said that his velocity has jumped a few extra miles per hour from the spring.
"I found my rhythm and my confidence," Aceves said. "I feel pretty good. I'm more comfortable with my fastball and locating good with all of my pitches. My mechanics feel good and I'm in the games, thinking about the hitters and what I want to do."