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Yanks bring up Claiborne to bolster 'pen

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Preston Claiborne on Friday from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and the rookie shouldn't be surprised if he is asked to get a few important outs quickly.

Because right-hander David Robertson is expected to be sidelined until Tuesday at Colorado with a sore left hamstring, the Yankees may not have much time to ease in Claiborne, a 25-year-old who is replacing the injured Joba Chamberlain on the active roster.

"We'll just have to mix and match a little bit more," Girardi said. "Usually when we bring Joba and Robby in, it's pretty strict. They're going to see whatever they're going to see. But we'll probably have to mix and match a little more until we get Robby back."

Claiborne had three saves in three chances at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he posted a 3.48 ERA in eight outings, allowing four earned runs and 14 hits in 10 1/3 innings while walking one and striking out 10.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster for Claiborne, the Yankees designated right-hander Cody Eppley for assignment.

Girardi said that Shawn Kelley could also see increased duty in the late innings, but he saw this spring that Claiborne was consistent with his stuff and didn't look overwhelmed, compiling an 0.84 ERA in 10 appearances.

As for Claiborne's scouting report, Girardi said that he features a swing-and-miss slider, a decent changeup and a fastball that gets up to 95 mph. Claiborne was thrilled to get word of the promotion from Triple-A manager Dave Miley, and he is hoping to make a quick impression.

"It's always a different animal coming from Triple-A and pitching against guys up here," Claiborne said. "Obviously I don't have the extended experience pitching at this level, but pitching in Spring Training and getting a little taste of what it's like and what veteran hitters are like, having that limited experience is definitely beneficial."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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