NEW YORK (AP) -The Yankees called up pitcher Ian Kennedy from the minors to make his big league debut Saturday and activated first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the 60-day disabled list.
Kennedy, a first-round draft pick last year, started against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in place of struggling Mike Mussina. The 22-year-old right-hander sailed through the farm system this season, starting at Class-A Tampa and going a combined 12-3 with a 1.91 ERA at three levels.
New York purchased Kennedy's contract from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The club also recalled infielder Alberto Gonzalez and reliever Jose Veras from its top farm team on the day active rosters expanded to 40.
Kennedy became the eighth rookie pitcher to start a game for the Yankees this season, matching a club record set in 1907, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The others were Kei Igawa, Darrell Rasner, Chase Wright, Jeff Karstens, Phil Hughes, Matt DeSalvo and Tyler Clippard. Kennedy was the sixth to make his major league debut.
Mussina, who has 247 career wins, was passed over in the rotation after three poor starts in a row. He is 8-10 with a 5.53 ERA in 23 starts.
Mientkiewicz had been sidelined since June 3 with a broken right wrist. He missed 81 games. Known for a good glove at first base, Mientkiewicz was hitting .226 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 124 at-bats when he got hurt.
He started five games at Tampa and five at Scranton on a rehabilitation assignment, batting a combined .400 with a homer, six doubles and 15 RBIs.
To make room for Mientkiewicz on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated outfielder Kevin Thompson for assignment.
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