ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Daley returned to the clubhouse of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Saturday just in time to glance at the television and see Cesar Cabral drill the Rays' Logan Forsythe in the back, earning an ejection from home-plate umpire Joe West.
Daley couldn't have known then that the hit-by-pitch would lead to him getting on a plane and suiting up again with the Yankees, but there he was in the visitors' clubhouse at Tropicana Field on Saturday, taking Cabral's spot on the big league roster.
"I think that everyone knows that when you come here, winning is the only thing, really," Daley said. "I know that they like [Cabral] a lot, they kept him around for a couple of years, and he's a great guy. That's the way baseball goes sometimes."
The Yankees signed Daley to a Major League contract and added him to the 25-man roster after Friday's game, designating Cabral for assignment. Daley went 1-1 with a save and a 5.40 ERA in four Triple-A appearances this season, striking out 13 in five innings with one walk.
"He competes really well. He has good command," manager Joe Girardi said. "He throws strikes. He attacks hitters. He threw well for us last September. He had a pretty good Spring Training for us, so that's why we went and got him."
Daley became the answer to a trivia question last September when he replaced Mariano Rivera after the all-time saves leader exited his final appearance. Daley attended camp this spring as a non-roster invitee, posting a 1.04 ERA with nine strikeouts in nine appearances, and was in the mix for a bullpen job almost until Opening Day.
"I think more than anything, September let me know that I could pitch in the big leagues again," Daley said. "I knew I could pitch in the Minor Leagues, so getting the success that I had last year, I think it made going into Spring Training this year and fighting for a job a lot easier."