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Nathan Eovaldi to start Saturday night against Tigers

Nathan Eovaldi of the New York Yankees pitches

Nathan Eovaldi of the New York Yankees pitches during the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 12, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Credit: Getty Images / Brian Blanco

Nathan Eovaldi will start against the Tigers Saturday night after all.

The righthander initially was listed as the Yankees' starter, but it appeared as if they were not inclined to pitch him on three days' rest, particularly after he allowed eight runs and nine hits in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday night in Miami in a 12-2 loss. Earlier Friday, it appeared as though Bryan Mitchell would make the start, but the Yankees then switched back to Eovaldi.

The Yankees called up Mitchell, a 24-year-old rookie righthander, Friday afternoon. The hard-throwing Mitchell has gone 4-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 13 starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2015. He has battled some control issues -- 54 strikeouts and 34 walks in 672/3 innings -- but has held opposing batters to a .219 average.

Chris Capuano took over for Eovaldi on Tuesday, pitched four innings and still was unavailable to Joe Girardi Friday night. "We just felt we needed a fresh pitcher," he said. "We figured we better get someone in here."

The Yankees made two other moves along those lines Friday. They optioned righthander Chris Martin, who had a 13.50 ERA in three appearances since being recalled June 11, to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalled righthander Branden Pinder.

Ellsbury works out again

Jacoby Ellsbury (sprained right knee) went through a full workout on the field, including batting practice, which Girardi watched closely.

"I think he looked better," he said. "He used his spikes to hit in the dirt today and that's how he got hurt [during an at-bat May 20 in Washington], so I thought he swung the bat well, I thought he ran a lot better, so he's definitely progressing the way we want. I'm not sure what the schedule is tomorrow, but I was pleased with what I saw today."

Ellsbury's progress has been slower than expected. The hope is that he can return sometime before the All-Star break.

New York Sports