Alfredo Aceves Could Head to Bullpen Following Rough Start

When you have five pitchers competing for one spot in the rotation, all it takes is one bad start to eliminate someone from the competition.

That might be the case with the Yankees’ Alfredo Aceves, according to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News.

Despite allowing just one run and three base runners in his first 10 innings of spring training action, Aceves could be headed to the bullpen following his start Saturday, in which he allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Houston Astros, the paper said.

McCarron says it’s more than just the one bad outing, though. He notes that Aceves has already had success out of the bullpen in the past (he went 10-1 with a 3.54 ERA in 84 innings last year) and that there’s a chance he’d be on an innings limit if he were a starter. He also doesn’t have as much upside as Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, who are still considered the two front-runners for the fifth spot.

The Yankees already have CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Javier Vazquez penciled into the first four spots in the rotation.

The other two hurlers competing for the final slot are Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin. On Friday, Mitre allowed just two runs in five innings while striking out seven to keep his head above water. Gaudin, on the other hand, gave up three runs in 2 1/3 innings and now has an 8.68 ERA this spring.

"We're going to probably have some discussions in the next few days," manager Joe Girardi told the paper. "We have some decisions to make, some tough decisions. It'll probably be a little clearer in the next couple days when we're home and we'll get a chance to talk about some things.

"They haven't made it easy."

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