The Yankees announced that they have designated right-hander Alfredo Aceves for assignment as part of a series of roster moves. Wade LeBlanc, recently claimed off waivers, has been added as a long reliever, while hard-throwing Jose Ramirez has been recalled from Triple-A. Right-hander Preston Claiborne has been optioned to Triple-A.
Aceves, 31, signed with the Yankees after opting out of his minor league deal with the Orioles late in the spring. He had worked to a 6.52 ERA in 19 1/3 frames this year since returning to the Bronx after a stint with the rival Red Sox.
Though he has improved upon last year’s troubling 1.09 K:BB ratio, posting 7.4 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 in 2014, Aceves still owns an FIP mark (6.22) that supports his ERA, largely due to the fact that he’s allowing an unsightly 2.79 long balls per nine innings. (Other metrics see things somewhat less harshly, as he carries a 4.61 xFIP and 3.95 SIERA.) Aceves has generated an awful lot of fly balls, as his groundball rate stands at just 23.4%.
The flip-flopping of Ramirez for Claiborne, meanwhile, could be more about the former than the latter. Claiborne, 26, has been solid enough on the whole, throwing to a 3.57 ERA in 17 2/3 frames with 14 strikeouts and nine free passes. But the 24-year-old Ramirez has been lights out at Triple-A, allowing just one earned run while striking out 13 and walking six over 10 2/3. Ramirez entered the year rated 13th among the organization’s prospects by Baseball America, which cited the “rail-thin” hurler’s big fastball and outstanding change.