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Yankees likely to have second lefty in pen

Yankees' pitcher Clay Rapada meets with catcher Jose

Yankees' pitcher Clay Rapada meets with catcher Jose Gil. (Feb. 28, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Lost in the extensive focus on the rotation has been another battle in Yankees’ camp.

Joe Girardi said yesterday there’s “a decent chance” the Yankees will take a second lefthander for their bullpen to pair with Boone Logan, with veteran Clay Rapada and Cesar Cabral, taken in the Rule 5 draft from the Red Sox, the candidates.

Both have pitched well in spring training and the Yankees are all but certain of losing the one not chosen. Rapada, 31, has an opt-out in his deal he can exercise if he doesn’t make the major-league roster and the 23-year-old Cabral, if he’s not on the roster, would have to be sent through waivers.

“A lefty, that age, that arm?” one scout said of Cabral. “No way he’s getting through.”

Rapada went 2-0 with a 6.06 ERA in 32 appearances for the Orioles last year. Though his career ERA is 5.13, Rapada has held lefthanded hitters to a .153 (18-for-118) batting average.

Cabral has the bigger upside but has not done it at the major-league level as Rapada has.

“That could be one of our other real tough decisions,” Girardi said.


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