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Yankees Relievers Marte, Aceves Not Expected Back

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Injured relievers Damaso Marte and Alfredo Aceves are not expected back in the New York Yankees’ bullpen this season.

New York manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday he thinks both pitchers will miss the rest of the year. Marte has been sidelined since July 8 with inflammation in his left shoulder. Aceves has been out since May 12 with a strained lower back.

In other news, the AL East leaders will skip Phil Hughes’ next turn in the rotation this weekend at Texas, part of their plan to limit the 24-year-old’s innings in his first full season as a major league starter.

Dustin Moseley will pitch in Hughes’ place Sunday against the AL West-leading Rangers. Girardi said Hughes will return to the rotation next Wednesday at Tampa Bay.

“It’s no surprise, I think, to anybody,” Hughes said. “It’s not going to hurt. It’ll help me, if anything.”

Girardi said Hughes might pitch an inning of relief in Texas to stay sharp. The All-Star right-hander is 16-7 with a 4.29 ERA in 26 starts, but has slipped of late.

Hughes has pitched 155 1-3 innings this season. He threw 86 innings in the majors last year, mostly in relief, and his previous high as a pro was 146 at Class-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2006.

“We want to get him on his regular turn as much as we can going down the stretch,” Girardi said.

Marte, a veteran left-handed specialist, missed nearly four months last season with an injury similar to the one he has this season. But he returned in August and excelled in a late-inning role during the postseason, making eight appearances without allowing a run. He struck out five and walked none in four innings to help the Yankees win their 27th World Series title.

This year, Marte has no record and a 4.08 ERA in 17 2-3 innings spanning 30 games. He said he still hopes he can return in time for the playoffs, but acknowledged his shoulder doesn’t feel good and the injury is worse than last season. He said he feels about 40 percent.

Boone Logan has done a solid job as New York’s primary lefty out of the bullpen, going 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA in 39 games.

Aceves was being evaluated by a back specialist Wednesday and surgery is an option, Girardi said. The versatile right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA and one save in 10 appearances.

He had an outstanding season as a long reliever last year, going 10-1 with a 3.54 ERA and one save in 43 outings.

“We would love to have ‘em both back because we saw how important they were to our bullpen last year,” Girardi said. “Fortunately, we’ve had some guys that have done a great job and picked up the slack in their absence. But I don’t think you can ever have too many arms down there.”

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