There was one reason why Mitre’s poor outing didn’t kill the Yankees that night, and that’s Al Aceves. Even though he’d been a bit shaky of late, likely a symptom of his shoulder fatigue, Girardi had the confidence to go to him with one out in the fifth. As he’s done for most of this season, Aceves gave the Yankees a few good innings which allowed them to win a game. It’s time he got to pitch more innings.
Sergio Mitre, it would seem, is not working out. He’s had only four starts, but he’s yet to finish six innings. Last night he again lost Girardi’s trust early, forcing the bullpen to get 14 outs, including the first two with a man already on base. The first six of those outs were recorded by Alfredo Aceves.
Next time around, the Yankees might want to consider flipping the two. Aceves can’t go deep into the game at this point, but neither can Mitre. At least Aceves would be working into a position where he might be able to last six, seven innings. He might never get there, but there’s little to lose in trying. Aceves has pitched well enough this season to earn a shot.
As a friend asked after I proposed this, why let Mitre blow games out of the pen? I’m not so sure he’d be bad out there. Even in the two-run first, the Jays were all grounders and bloops. The result was obviously bad, but I’ll take a guy who can get a grounder out of the pen. Plus the Yanks have him signed through next season, so they might as well give him a shot out of the pen.
If Girardi’s not going to let him work out of jams, Mitre is worthless as a fifth starter. The Yankees clearly aren’t returning Hughes to the rotation, a waiver claim is unlikely, and no one wants to see Kei Igawa’s return, the Yanks have no better alternative than to hand Aceves a rotation spot. The way he’s been pitching most of the season, that’s not a bad alternative at all.