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Chasen Shreve hopes new grip on slider keeps him in majors

New York Yankees relief pitcher Chasen Shreve (45)

New York Yankees relief pitcher Chasen Shreve (45) delivers the pitch in the sixth inning on Opening Day against the Houston Astros Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Newsday/ J. Conrad Williams Jr.

CHICAGO — Chasen Shreve is back in the big leagues, where he hopes a new grip on his slider will help him stay the rest of the season.

The lefthander, one of baseball’s best relievers the first five months of 2015 before imploding the final three weeks, got off to a poor start this season.

He was 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA before being placed on the disabled list with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. The 25-year-old was activated June 19, but the Yankees stuck him in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to work on his stuff, his slider in particular.

“When I was here rehabbing, Larry showed me a new grip that Tanaka uses,” Shreve said of pitching coach Larry Rothschild. “It seemed to help me a lot, helped me stay on top of the ball.”

The Yankees liked the results and brought up Shreve Tuesday, sending down righthander Luis Cessa to keep him built up as a starter.

Shreve got into the game Tuesday night and allowed no hits and struck out one in 1 1⁄3 innings.

“I’m really happy with it right now,” said Shreve, who had allowed seven homers this season compared to 10 all of last season.

“I’m usually not the type of guy that gives up a lot of homers,” he said. “So I’m just going to go out and pretend like it’s a new year and start over.”

Didi’s day

Shortstop Didi Gregorius was given the night off, which had nothing to do with his three-error game the day before.

“I don’t remember the last time he’s had a full day off,” Joe Girardi said. “I just felt I wasn’t going to run him out 17 days in a row.”

Still needs work

Righthander Luis Severino improved to 5-0 with a 2.87 ERA with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Monday when he allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings but Girardi, as he’s said after just about every one of the 22-year-old’s starts in the minors, says he needs consistency.

“(His) location needs to continue to improve (and) the consistency of his breaking ball and his changeup,” Girardi said. “This is a guy that used to have a really good changeup but for whatever reason it’s not consistent. So we’re trying to get it where when he comes back up, he never has to go back down.”

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