NEW YORK – If the Yankees trusted Sonny Gray to get through five innings in his subway series at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, then Tommy Kahnle might have been the organization's first choice to go from triple- A to come up with a short-term replacement for Domingo German until next week a fifth grader is needed again.
Kahnle finally beats well in Triple-A and he was a very valuable bullpen piece for the Yankees' last season.
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Of course, there is no confidence in Gray – and that's not the case – and so the Yankees have played it safe by double-double Trenton starter Domingo Acevedo to save a long wait if Gray has a short trip against the Mets.
"Acevedo is outstretched as a starter, he has built up to 100 pitches and he is on the fifth day, so he gives us that protection when we came into a situation where we needed a lot of length," Yankees Mana Ger Aaron Boone said on Saturday. "He is the best option for us right now."
Gray will bring a 6-7 record and 5.46 ERA in his first start since the All-Star break, and he often does not get the length of the Yankees since he does not manage it in his first 18 starts seven times through five innings.
This first big league jump for Acevedo will probably not last long. If the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Dominican pitches on Saturday, he will likely be re-optioned to Trenton after the game and replaced by another long-relief option or standard Reliever. Whether the extra helper Acevedo or anyone else stays, he'll probably be gone on Wednesday when Luis Cessa is called by Triple-A to get German's No. 5 starting grid. German was opted for Triple-A late Friday night after allowing four runs over 3 2/3 innings as the Yankees starter in a 7-5 loss to Mets. The right-handed rookie is 2-6 with a 5.68 ERA in 19 games, including 13 starts, as the first replacement for injured No. 5 starter Jordan Montgomery, who had Tommy John surgery in May.
Acevedo, 24, is a very tough pitcher whose fastball was clocked at 103 mph, but his speed was in spring training and early in the regular season, for him due to a bladder and concussion from April 13 to 28 May was time on the disabled list
Acevedo was 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 18 hikes in 50 2/3 innings for Trenton in 11 starts, eight as starters. He has done very well lately, scoring a 2.33 ERA in his last five games.
"At the beginning of spring, his speed had dropped," Boone said. "He somehow worked his way back and I think he gained some momentum and traction, the speed was in the mid-'90s, he has a really good change and a slider, he threw the ball pretty well."  Randy Miller is available at email@example.com . Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller . Find NJ.com on Facebook .