Ailing Yanks add relief from Minors
Moeller designated for assignment for Britton, Albaladejo
CLEVELAND -- The Yankees shuffled their roster before the opener of a four-game series with the Indians on Friday, adding two pitchers and dropping a catcher, with more moves likely to follow.
New York recalled right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as a corresponding move for the placement of right-hander Brian Bruney on the 15-day disabled list with a right Lisfranc injury. The Yankees also designated catcher Chad Moeller for assignment and recalled right-hander Chris Britton from Triple-A to bolster their bullpen.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the club may go with 13 pitchers for only one day. With three left-handed starting pitchers looming for the Indians on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the Yankees appear likely to recall infielder Shelley Duncan from Triple-A, where he was batting .309 with six home runs and 17 RBIs since being optioned on April 9.
"There's a lot of things we can do," Girardi said.
Moeller, 33, is out of Minor League options and will have to pass through waivers before he can be outrighted to Triple-A -- an assignment he said he would accept. The journeyman began Spring Training with the Nationals before being released and signed by the Yankees on March 10.
His contract was purchased from Triple-A on April 14, when catchers Jorge Posada and Jose Molina were both sidelined with injuries. Moeller performed well, batting .350 (7-for-20) in six starts.
"Obviously, I'm thrilled with how it went here and I enjoyed my time immensely," Moeller said. "I'd obviously have liked for it to have been longer, but the organization is nothing but class and treated me wonderfully."
The Yankees still have yet to promote a long reliever for their roster, but Girardi explained that his coaching staff believes that several relievers can piece together multi-inning stints and help get the ball to the late innings. When rain washed out Phil Hughes' start after two innings on Thursday in Chicago, right-hander Ross Ohlendorf threw 49 pitches in two innings to move the game into the fifth inning.
"We feel that Ohlendorf can give us 50-60 pitches, Albaladejo can give you 50 pitches and Britton can give you 40-50," Girardi said. "In a sense, we feel that we've been covered every night."
Additionally, infielder Wilson Betemit (corneal ulcer), eligible to come off the disabled list on April 29, will not rejoin the team at that time. Girardi said that the infection in Betemit's eyes has still not cleared, and he will require a Minor League rehabilitation assignment at some point.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.