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Yankees demote Garcia to bullpen

NEW YORK — Struggling Yankees starter Freddy Garcia is being shifted to a relief role after giving up six runs to the Tigers in 1 2/3 innings Saturday.

"I'm not surprised," said Garcia, whose ERA went to 12.51 after the outing. "You play here in New York, they expect (you) to pitch good. … It's not like they wait for you to be good."

Rewarded with a $4 million, one-year contract after going 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA last season, Garcia has been the worst of a shaky rotation that was thought to be a strength heading into the season.

But offseason acquisition Michael Pineda started the season on the disabled list and needs season-ending shoulder surgery. Phil Hughes and Garcia have been terrible. Hughes is 1-3 with a 7.88 ERA. Yankees starters through Saturday had a 6.37 ERA, 29th in the majors, Stats LLC said. Minnesota was the only team that was worse (7.01 ERA).

Garcia (0-2) has made two relief appearances in 333 career games, including one for New York last season. He didn't know what his role in the bullpen would be. It could be as a long reliever.

"Another part of my life I have to deal with," he said. "Whenever I have to pitch, I'll pitch."

Manager Joe Girardi said rookie David Phelps would take Garcia's place in the rotation.

Pettitte in Dunedin: Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte, pitching with Class A Tampa as he works his way back toward the majors, will pitch against Dunedin at 6:30 tonight. General admission tickets are $6. The Yankees believe Pettitte may need one or two more starts before he is ready to join the rotation.

More Yankees: OF Nick Swisher, the AL leader in extra-base hits, left Sunday's game against Detroit in the third inning because of a tight left hamstring and was expected to have an MRI exam.

Inge to A's? 3B Brandon Inge, let go by the Tigers on Thursday, agreed to a deal with the A's, the Associated Press reported. The deal was pending a physical and final paperwork. Inge, who turns 35 on May 19, was batting .100 (2-for-20) with one homer and two RBIs this season. He would fill a void at third, where the A's lost projected starter Scott Sizemore to a season-ending knee injury the first day of spring training. Manager Bob Melvin has tried Josh Donaldson, Eric Sogard and Luke Hughes in the spot.

Pujols Drought watch: New Angels 1B Albert Pujols is homerless in 22 games since signing his $240 million contract. In 2006 he set an April record with 14 homers for St. Louis. The three-time NL MVP hit five homers during the 2011 postseason for the Cardinals but has not connected in the regular season since Sept. 22.

Indians: OF Shin-Soo Choo missed his fifth game with a strained left hamstring. He ran in the outfield during warmups and hoped to play Tuesday.

Mariners: LHP George Sherrill, who has appeared in two games this season, will have season-ending elbow surgery Friday, the team announced.

Mets: OF Andres Torres (strained left calf) completed a two-game minor-league rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Buffalo and was to join the Mets today in Houston. He was expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Red Sox: Slugger Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch with tightness in his lower left back.

Royals: RHP Luke Hochevar will pitch the series opener at Detroit today because scheduled starter Jonathan Sanchez came down with flu symptoms in Minneapolis. He will start Tuesday.

White Sox: 1B Paul Konerko was out with a stiff neck. He is day to day.

Yankees demote Garcia to bullpen 04/29/12 [Last modified: Sunday, April 29, 2012 10:19pm]
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