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Aceves a candidate to start on Thursday

NEW YORK -- Alfredo Aceves remains a candidate to start on Thursday against the Mets at Citi Field, an outing that was initially scheduled for injured left-hander CC Sabathia, but manager Joe Girardi is not ready to lock in that decision.

"Aceves will be in our bullpen today, just because of the use of it the last couple days," Girardi said before Monday's 9-7 loss to the Mets, during which Aceves threw 18 pitches and recorded two outs -- both strikeouts -- but allowed two runs on two hits, including a home run. "Thursday could be Aceves, but depending on what we need from him, it could be someone else. That someone else, I can't really tell you right now."

One possibility is right-hander Chase Whitley, who was scratched from a scheduled start on Sunday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

"I'll let the people upstairs make that decision, who we will use," Girardi said. "Obviously, they will look at all possibilities and they'll make a decision."

Losing Sabathia marked yet another body blow for the Yankees, who have lost Ivan Nova for the year to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and Michael Pineda until at least June with a Grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle behind his right shoulder.

David Phelps and Vidal Nuno have already been promoted from the bullpen to the rotation, with Aceves perhaps to follow.

"Our surplus isn't such a surplus anymore," Girardi said. "We've had to obviously dig pretty deep here because of the injuries. You lose 60 percent of your rotation, you're going to lose a lot of guys.

"With the job Adam Warren has been doing in our bullpen and not being completely stretched out, it kind of rules him out. It is being tested. All teams are going to go through it, but we have to find a way to get through it until we get these guys back."

The Mets are scheduled to start right-hander Dillon Gee in Thursday's Subway Series finale.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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