NEW YORK -- For the third time this season, rookie relief pitcher Luis Cessa is back with the Yankees.Cessa, who opened the season in the big leagues and made a brief return to the squad toward the end of May, was recalled Sunday to bolster the bullpen in a wide
NEW YORK -- For the third time this season, rookie relief pitcher Luis Cessa is back with the Yankees.
Cessa, who opened the season in the big leagues and made a brief return to the squad toward the end of May, was recalled Sunday to bolster the bullpen in a wide variety of roles. As a counter to the move, the Yankees optioned right-hander Nick Goody to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he has a different role in mind for Cessa this time. In both the Majors and Minors, Cessa has worked as a long reliever, and when he was sent to Triple-A, the goal was to stretch him out to work as an emergency starter. Now, Girardi seems to be changing that tune.
"We kind of liked what he did in a short-relief appearances before," Girardi said. "He got up to 96, 97 [mph], and we thought we'd give him an opportunity. It's possible that we could use him this way. The importance is using him. We think his development is coming along fine, and we want to continue that."
Cessa made his fourth Major League appearance Sunday in the Yankees' 7-1 loss to the Twins. He worked 1 2/3 innings, allowing a run on Eduardo Nunez's home run in the seventh.
Cessa has a 3.12 ERA over 8 2/3 innings this season, striking out five and allowing three runs, all on solo home runs.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Goody, who is headed to Scranton because, as Girardi described it, he hasn't had a good June. In nine appearances this month, Goody saw his ERA balloon from a modest 3.21 to 4.91. The righty had not pitched since Tuesday against Colorado, when he allowed two earned runs on three hits over 1 1/3 innings.
• Relief pitcher Bryan Mitchell, who has been on the DL since the end of Spring Training after toe surgery, has been rehabbing and progressing at a steady rate and is back to playing catch off flat ground.
Though there were indications in April that Mitchell could be back with the Yankees in August, Girardi curbed such notions Sunday, saying that as encouraging as his progress has been, he likely won't return to the Major League bullpen any time this season. Girardi didn't rule it out, saying anything is possible, and did say he wouldn't be surprised if Mitchell made some appearances in the Minors later in the year.
Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.