With Joba Chamberlain on the disabled list with an oblique injury, the Yankees have called up righty reliever Preston Claiborne from Triple-A to take his place in the bullpen, per Sweeny Murti of WFAN.
It was a little surprising to hear that Claiborne got the call. I would have expected it to be either Eppley, because of his spot on the 40-man roster, or Mark Montgomery, because of his prospect status, instead. However, the Yankees have obviously run out of patience with Eppley and Montgomery looked a little nervous during Spring Training when Claiborne was pitching more like a veteran.
Claiborne was actually left off our Top 50 Prospects list from this preseason. However, he has carved out a decent career for himself with a 3.00 ERA, a 8.8 K/9, and a 3.5 BB/9 over four seasons and 204.1 innings in the minors.
Montgomery has better numbers than Claiborne in both Triple-A and the minor leagues in general, but he’s younger with less experience so the Yankees probably figured it couldn’t hurt to give him a little more time. Considering Monty already has a 2.02 ERA, a 13.5 K/9, and a 3.4 BB/9 it probably won’t be too long until he gets the call up.
Eppley had a decent season last year with a 3.33 ERA, 6.3 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9, but he’s an incomplete pitcher in that he can’t face lefties at all. The Yankees routinely paired him up with Clay Rapada last year and probably figured with a few young arms in the minors ready to be promoted that he was expendable.
The Yankees claimed Eppley off waivers from the Texas Rangers last season.
• Curtis Granderson took a pitch off his forearm yesterday. It was the same forearm that he broke in Spring Training, but he stayed in the game and appears to be fine this time around. Granderson has been playing all three outfield spots while he rehabs and it sounds like Joe Girardi has left the door open that he could play left field when he returns.
• Ronnier Mustelier was activated by the Triple-A Scranton team on Thursday. He’s gone 1-for-7 with a double and two runs scored since he’s been back.
• The MLB Draft order has been officially announced and the Yankees have picks Nos. 26, 32, and 33.
• The Yankees are about to hit the road, but you can still support BBD and buy Yankees tickets for away games too.