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Pregame notes: Bullpen gets a true long man

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Hector Noesi said his first phone call was to his mother. Informed last night that he had been called to New York, Noesi phoned home to pass on the good news.

“She can’t talk on the phone really, she was so excited,” Noesi said.

Noesi will be a long man in the Yankees bullpen. It’s a role Luis Ayala sort of filled, though he was never a natural fit. Ayala had always been a short reliever in his career. Noesi has been a minor league starter.

In theory, adding a true long man adds some flexibility in the way the Yankees use Bartolo Colon. When Colon made the roster, Joe Girardi talked a lot about his ability to be an Alfredo Aceves-type reliever, capable of multiple innings or key one-inning bursts. It’s easy to imagine Colon’s fastball playing up in that sort of three-out situation.

“I think it’s something he could definitely do and it’s something, if the opportunity presents itself, I will not be afraid to use him in that type of situation,” Girardi said. “Maybe one inning, two innings. You could shorten his stints a little bit and maybe use him a little bit different just because we’ve got another true long guy… No matter how you use (Colon), I think he’s going to throw the ball well, but the thing you have to be careful about is a couple of days in a row, especially early on here.”

[3]• Speaking of the bullpen, Freddy Garcia is once again listed as an available reliever. The entire rotation has been pushed back one day, so Garcia will make his first start on Saturday.

Tonight: A.J. Burnett
Thursday: Phil Hughes
Friday: Ivan Nova
Saturday: Freddy Garcia
Sunday: CC Sabathia

• Girardi said there is so far nothing new on Pedro Feliciano.

• Girardi said the other pitcher discussed for a call-up was Steve Garrison, but the fact Garrison pitched on Tuesday knocked him out of the running. “We felt that Noesi was more on turn and could give us some distance,” Girardi said. “We’ve been using our right-handers against left-handers anyway and we’d stay with that.”

• To be fair, it’s never out of the question for a minor league starter to be suddenly pulled from a start so that he can be called up. Trenton has Kei Igawa and Cory Arbiso with rotation experience, so they probably could have made a change if they really wanted to call-up Garrison. I’d say the fact he’s in Double-A also played a role here, but that’s just my own speculation.

• Noesi will wear No. 45.

• Given the Josh Hamilton injury — he’s on the disabled list after hurting himself on a head-first slide into home — Girardi said he talked specifically to Brett Gardner about it this afternoon. Players are always taught not to slide head first into first base or home plate, but there are times when they seem unable to help themselves. “You’re taught not to slide head-first, but your instinct sometimes takes over with your aggressiveness and you do it,” Girardi said.

• Girardi acknowledged that Derek Jeter is hitting a lot of balls on the ground, but he hedged with the fact that Jeter’s never really been a fly ball hitter. As I’ve written, I’m actually onboard with Girardi’s stance that it’s far too early to make any sort of definite judgment. “It’s probably a little bit of timing is all it is,” Girardi said.

Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Derrek Lee 1B
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Luke Scott LF
Adam Jones CF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Matt Wieters C
Robert Andino SS

Associated Press photos