It is expected that Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin will start games this weekend, but with Alfredo Aceves going 4 innings in his last relief appearance, you have to wonder if the Yankees aren’t ultimately grooming Aceves to take the 5th starter spot. Is there any other possible reason why a guy who is traditionally a 7th/8th inning reliever would pitch 4 innings? It’s not like there were no other relievers available; he was the only one used.
I think that while the Yankees recognize that Phil Hughes would be their best answer in the 5-spot, they don’t want to mess with his arm this close to the postseason, considering how well he has taken to the setup role. Aceves is their next best starting option, and thanks to that 15-inning game where he pitched 3 innings, he was already on his way to being stretched out.
Also to consider is that Demaso Marte is due back in the coming days, so the Yankees will likely need to send someone down. Hopefully having Marte also means Aceves won’t be needed in the bullpen, but this could be wishful thinking.
There are roughly 2 weeks left until the rosters expand, so the Yankees could choose to send down either Mitre or Gaudin (probably whoever pitches worse this weekend) or simply keep 13 pitchers and send down Pena.
One thing to note about Mitre:
Vs. RHB: .250/.281/.385
Vs. LHB: .500/.537/.700
So essentially he turns righties into a slightly worse version of David Ortiz (ie, terrible) while lefties become a better version of Albert Pujols. Doesn’t that just scream middle reliever who should be brought in to face righties? It does to me.
Vs. RHB: .222/.276/.419
Vs. LHB: .200/.252/.295
Of course Aceves’ numbers look better overall because he’s been a reliever for most of them, but it’s obvious from this that he has no real lefty/righty split; if anything he’s better againt lefties. So it makes sense that he’d be a more effective starter.