Mitre to start in place of Pettitte on Saturday

Sergio Mitre, who has been on the disabled list since June 15 and has not pitched in a game since June 4, will start for the Yankees on Saturday vs. the Kansas City Royals in place of the injured Andy Pettitte, according to GM Brian Cashman.

Mitre, who suffered an injured oblique muscle on his left side while taking a batting practice swing before interleague play in mid-June, threw 60 pitches in a rehab assignment on Thursday and was expected to be activated as early as Tuesday. The decision to start Mitre was made Sunday night, less than an hour after manager Joe Girardi had mentioned him, along with Chad Gaudin and rookie Dustin Moseley, as possible fill-ins for Pettite, who will go on the DL and is expected to miss 4-5 weeks with a left groin strain.

"We just felt Sergio is more suited to make the start,'' Cashmna said. "He was one of the candidates for the fifth starter's job and he outpitched Chad in spring training so were going to roll him out there on saturday.''

Mitre made two emergency starts earlier this season, one in place of Javier Vazquez, who was skipped in the rotation due to ineffectiveness, and one in place of Pettitte, who missed a start with soreness in his pitching elbow. He allowed four runs in 4-1/3 innings in a 5-4 loss to the Tgers on May 10 and one run in five innings on May 16 in what became a 6-3 loss to the Twins. Overall, he is 0-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 25 innings pitched.