Brian Cashman said he was receiving phone calls about Dustin Moseley even before the out in his contract kicked in yesterday, so the Yankees knew they would lose him they didn’t bring him to New York. Jonathan Albaladejo has been pitching extremely well, but he doesn’t fill the long relief hole the Yankees wanted to fill.
With Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves on the disabled list, and Chan Ho Park struggling when he goes multiple innings, the Yankees wanted a pitcher who could give them length.
“We have talked about (Albaladejo),” Joe Girardi said. “But we have also talked about having some length from some guys, and with Chan Ho maybe sticking to one inning, sometimes two.”
Ultimately, the late innings will still belong primarily to Joba Chamberlain and Damaso Marte, occasionally Park and Dave Robertson. The guy the Yankees seem to have missed the most is Aceves, who last year was able to fill multiple roles and had a knack for keeping winable games close enough for the Yankees to come back and win. Hence his 10 wins out of the bullpen last season.
“It seems that the games we were supposed to win, we won (this year),” Girardi said. “It’s been the games that were close, that could have gone either way. We were down a run, two runs, it seemed that the leads got larger. Those were games that seemed to escape us a little bit. We didn’t have as good a chance of coming back… Guys just need to pitch better on a consistent basis. As far as I know we aren’t sending Phil (Hughes) down there.”
• Girardi said he thought Mitre’s rehab was beginning in the Gulf Coast League. Cashman said Mitre will instead pitch for Tampa in the Florida State League. The Yankees want Mitre to get stretched out a little bit before they activate him.
• Aceves is throwing off a mound today, but neither Girardi nor Cashman could say when he might be activated. His last bullpen was nothing but fastballs and changeups. “He’s a little bit more tricky than Serge because he’s been out a lot longer,” Girardi said.
• Girardi said it’s “definitely possible” that Marcus Thames could be back before the all-star break. “I don’t really have a timetable on Marcus, how long he will go,” Girardi said. “But yesterday was good.”
• Moseley said he knew there would have been offers from other major league teams if he weren’t called to New York, but if there weren’t, he wouldn’t not have opted out only to play Triple-A elsewhere. He’s wanted to play for the Yankees for a long time. “I told Cash from day one, if you want me to hit fungos, I’ll hit fungos.”
• What does Girardi want to see from A.J. Burnett today? “Early command of his fastball,” Girardi said. If that’s not there, Girardi said he wants to see Burnett go to his offspeed stuff early.
Associated Press photo of Chamberlain