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Yankees call up Zelous Wheeler, send down Chase Whitley

The Yankees' Zelous Wheeler, right, is all smiles

The Yankees' Zelous Wheeler, right, is all smiles after his solo home run in his major league debut off Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes in the fifth inning of a game on Thursday, July 3, 2014, in Minneapolis. Congratulating him is Brendan Ryan. Credit: AP / Jim Mone

The Yankees added infielder Zelous Wheeler prior to Thursday's 1:05 p.m. game against the Astros. Righthanded pitcher Chase Whitley was sent to the minors to make room on the roster for Wheeler.

The righthanded Wheeler is in the lineup, at designated hitter, batting ninth vs. lefthanded Houston starter Dallas Keuchel.

Wheeler, 27, hit .267 with two home runs during a prior stint with the Yankees this season. In 16 games he was 8-for-30 without a walk. An eight-year veteran of the minors, Wheeler didn't log his first MLB at-bat until 2014. He's batted .296 with a .367 on-base percentage and nine home runs for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season and was 13-for-35 (.371) in his last nine games.

Whitley, 25, was superb for the Yankees earlier this season, posting a 2.56 ERA in his first seven games (all starts). But since he was tagged for eight runs by the Blue Jays on June 23, Whitley has a 9.20 ERA in 12 games (five starts) and opponents are batting .385 against him.

New York Sports