For the second straight game the bullpen was taxed, plus you add in Ivan Nova leaving early with what is being reported as elbow soreness, then you have a perfect recipe for disaster. Don’t hold your breath for too long, reinforcements are coming in the form of pitching and a well known first baseman. According to reports the Yankees are calling up pitchers Preston Claiborne from Scranton and pitcher Bryan Mitchell from Trenton. These moves come on the heel of an already difficult decision for the team. First baseman Mark Teixeira is going to be activated tomorrow, replacing either utility infielder Dean Anna or Scott Sizemore on the 25-man roster. The pitching staff is already short arms and the extra day off from the rain on Tuesday is forcing manager Joe Girardi to insert lefty Vidal Nuno as a spot starter for tomorrow’s game. He will have about a 75-pitch ceiling tomorrow so we there will be a need for relievers to piece the back end of the game up at the very least.
We are familiar with Preston Claiborne, who has been pitching decently down in Scranton. He has not made a start, but has pitched in a total of 6 innings over five games with an earned run average of 1.50. Bryan Mitchell on the other hand has made three starts for the Trenton Thunder. He has a record 1-2 and 5.14 ERA. Both will probably be just security blankets for Girardi, but Mitchell is more stretched out so he could assume the long relief role which was occupied by Matt Daley tonight. Dellin Betances has seen some extensive work the last few days, including an apperance tonight. Either way someone will be going down and those two are the likely candidates at least for now.
As for who will be sent down to make room for Teixeira, we just don’t know yet. Chances are it will be Sizemore. Since the Yankees selected his contract last week, the May 1st opt-out is eliminated giving the team the ability to option him back to Scranton. Anna who came in to pitch the 8th inning tonight is currently the official backup to Derek Jeter, so you would figure he will have the leg up.
Ivan Nova will have an MRI tonight in Tampa, but we will not know the results till either late tonight or early tomorrow. It is an elbow, which is a red flag to begin with. There is even a slight chance he could be placed on the 15-day if there is any inclination of injury, even if it’s just to make room on the roster. Either way we will have all the official moves as soon as they become available.