Mike Silva spoke to Chad Jennings last night, and Jennings suggested that the Chan-Ho Park addition could result in Alfredo Aceves beginning the year in the minors. Here’s how:
Rivera, Robertson, Marte, Joba/Hughes, and Park. I would put Aceves as a lock, but what if Melancon or Albaladejo have a great spring? Don’t forget Chad Gaudin who the Yankees brass likes. The Yankees rotation is going to give length on most nights and Park is someone that could go 2 innings plus, if necessary. Last year he was called on for two or more innings eleven times by Charlie Manuel.
Another thing going against Aceves is the fact that he has options. Gaudin will need to clear waivers if he is demoted. Knowing the state of pitching in the game it’s hard to imagine another team not claiming him if he has a good spring. Aceves might very well become a victim of the numbers game.
Basically, the idea is that Park might make carrying Aceves and Gaudin redundant, such that the club would be inclined to take a one inning type reliever such as Melancon rather than both Aceves and Gaudin. Being that Aceves has options and the others do not, he would be the odd man out.
The one thing that bothers me about this idea is that I’m not so sure Melancon or Albaladejo are better one inning relievers than Aceves at this point. If Aceves only provided flexibility over the one inning type options, I would understand giving that up for better performance due to the flexibility of the other Yankee relievers. But if the Yankees believe that Aceves is the better pitcher, he should not be sent down simply because his greatest attribute is something that the Yankees have plenty of. Hopefully, the Yankees take their seven best bullpen arms north.
What do you think? Is there a scenario under which you would send Aceves to AAA?