Yanks call up Patterson from Triple-A

Right-hander joins Bombers after Ensberg is designated for assignment

Before getting called up, Scott Patterson went 1-0 with a 3.04 ERA at Triple-A. (Kevin Pataky/MLB.com)

By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com | June 1, 2008 11:28 AM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Yankees moved on Sunday to replenish their bullpen after their 12-inning victory the previous night, recalling right-hander Scott Patterson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Patterson, 28, was in deep consideration to make the club out of Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, retiring 22 of the 23 hitters he faced in Grapefruit League action and narrowly missing a spot on the last day of camp.

"He was real close. It came down to the last day," pitching coach Dave Eiland said. "It could have gone either way with a couple of other guys, and it came down to the wire. He had a great spring, and hopefully, he picks up where he left off there."

With much dejection, Patterson packed his bags on the spring's final day at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, and he was sent to Triple-A, where he went 1-0 with a 3.04 ERA and three saves in 22 appearances.

"He's been doing all right," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He got off to a little bit of a slow start, but he's been pitching better. He's a guy that had a great Spring Training for us and came close to making the club. We're anxious to see him."

Patterson has been issued uniform No. 30, which was last worn by the late Cory Lidle in 2006. The Yankees kept Lidle's uniform number and locker out of circulation last season after the right-hander was killed in a Manhattan plane crash following the club's elimination from the 2006 American League Division Series.

In a corresponding roster move, the Yankees designated infielder Morgan Ensberg for assignment. The 32-year-old Ensberg turned down starting offers from other clubs to sign a one-year, $1.75 million contract as a platoon player with the Yankees, which was contingent upon him making the roster out of Spring Training.

In recent days, however, Ensberg's opportunities had grown extremely scarce. He was hitting .203 (15-for-74) with one home run and four RBIs in 28 games, and he had not appeared in a game since May 25 vs. Seattle. Ensberg's last start came on May 15 in St. Petersburg.

"We thought coming out of Spring Training that we'd get a lot out of him," Girardi said. "I know his at-bats were not every day, and he's been used to being an everyday player. He brought a great attitude to the park every day and worked his rear end off. For whatever reason, the numbers didn't translate."

Ensberg left the Metrodome without commenting, and his bags were already packed when reporters re-entered the clubhouse following batting practice. Girardi said Ensberg took the news well, and he expressed hope that he would latch on with another Major League club.

"He seemed OK," Girardi said. "I'm sure he's frustrated, and I'm sure it's hard on him, but I believe Morgan will land on his feet. I still believe he can help someone."

Patterson last pitched on Friday in Rochester, hurling a scoreless ninth inning in the Triple-A Yankees' 6-3 victory over the Red Wings, striking out two. Eiland said that Patterson needs to command his fastball, curveball and splitter to be effective.

"He goes right at guys," Eiland said. "He's kind of been doing the same thing he's been doing the last couple of years, nothing fancy."

The Yankees may have an additional Triple-A roster move to contemplate, as first baseman and outfielder Jason Lane is able to opt out of his contract on Sunday. Lane is hitting .249 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs at Triple-A, including a 10th-inning two-run homer on Saturday.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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