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Clean-shaven Aardsma looks to win bullpen job

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TAMPA, Fla. -- For David Aardsma to have a chance at making the Yankees' bullpen this spring, he knew there was one important sacrifice to make: his goatee.

"It was a sad day," said a clean-shaven Aardsma, following a workout at the Yanks' Minor League complex. "You have it all offseason, and I'd been used to having it for such a long time. It was a sad shave this morning."

It will have been worth it if Aardsma can enjoy the kind of productive spring he is shooting for.

Aardsma made it into one September game with the Yankees last season -- his first big league appearance since 2010 -- after returning from Tommy John surgery, and he hopes to be an impact arm for manager Joe Girardi when 2013 begins.

"I've been throwing full [bullpen sessions]," Aardsma said. "I was [under] no restrictions at the end of last year, so I'm excited about it. I'm ready to have a real Spring Training for once."

The 31-year-old Aardsma said that he has been working out five to six days per week and has already thrown four full bullpen sessions, along with a handful of flat ground sessions.

"I feel normal, I feel like the same spot I used to be in Spring Training," said Aardsma, who saved 69 games for the Mariners from 2009-10. "I'm a little off here and there, but it's a lot tighter and it's coming together."

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