The Yankees don’t need Sergio Mitre to be almighty. They just want the righty to give them innings for the four to five weeks that Andy Pettitte is expected to miss with a groin strain.

 

The Yankees are still likely to make trades before the July 31 deadline, but if Mitre performs well, the team can focus on adding to other areas of need, including the bench and bullpen. Mitre, who starts Saturday against the Royals, pitched effectively in 12 outings this season. He posted a 2.88 ERA before injuring his oblique last month. He’s allowed 16 hits in 25 innings.

 

“That’s why we always want that depth, because the chances of keeping your five starters on turn the whole way through is not great,” manager Joe Girardi said before last night’s late game with the Angels.

 

“Usually you’ll have someone who gets nicked up and that’s why we have depth.”

 

Mitre wasn’t a part of that depth until the second half of last year. He was coming off Tommy John surgery and a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He finished 2009 3-3 with a 6.79 ERA in nine starts. General manager Brian Cashman, though, was encouraged by him earlier this spring.


“We saw what he’s capable of in spring training,” Cashman said. “He’d be in anybody’s rotation.”