The 32-year-old Towers was signed to a Major League contract and selected by the Yankees from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was 4-6 with a 3.42 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) for New York's top farm club.
But he is expected to be cleared out on Sunday, when New York will add Chad Gaudin -- acquired Thursday from the Padres for a player to be named later -- to the bullpen.
Recuperating after a 15-inning victory on Friday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he could not have used Alfredo Aceves (three scoreless innings Friday), Brian Bruney (two innings) or Phil Coke (one inning). In addition, Dave Robertson could only offer an inning, while Phil Hughes would be limited to 30 pitches behind starter CC Sabathia.
"If, God forbid, CC takes a line drive off his leg early or something, we're in trouble," Girardi said. "Or we get into an extra-inning game like [Friday], we're in a lot of trouble, because we don't have the pitching. We wanted someone that could give us 100 pitches, and that was Josh Towers."
It was a moot point, as Sabathia threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings of two-hit ball to log his 12th victory. In a corresponding roster move, the Yankees optioned right-hander Mark Melancon to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The rookie is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in nine appearances with the Yankees this season across two stints.
Towers was signed by the Yankees as a Minor League free agent on May 9 after beginning the season in the Nationals organization. He has made 137 appearances (112 starts) in the Majors, going 45-55 with one save and a 4.96 ERA over parts of seven seasons with the Orioles (2001-02) and Blue Jays (2003-07).
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.