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Clean-shaven Aardsma looks to win bullpen job

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."

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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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