Chad Qualls, the newest member of the Yankees bullpen, arrived about two hours before game time, and Cory Wade, whose ERA was 1.69 for April, 2.92 for May and 13.97 for June, was optioned to Triple-A Scranton to try to relocate the stuff he displayed last year and earlier this season.
Qualls, 33, who had been designated for assignment by the Phillies last Wednesday, was acquired by the Yankees for an undisclosed amount of cash on Sunday. Qualls, who was 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA in 35 appearances for the Phillies, arrived shorn of his trademark goatee in accordance with Yankees policy, and with his hair so disheveled even Joba Chamberlain felt compelled to mention it.
"Ask him what's up with his hair,'' Chamberlain said as the beat writers moved in to make the acquaintance of Qualls, who turns out to be an affable and humorous sort.
"I haven't got it cut in a while'' he said. As for the goatee, Qualls said that in acquiescing to the team's rules he may have run afoul of Mrs. Qualls' rules.
"My wife’s probably only seen me shaved twice,'' he said. "And I think the first time, she told me, ‘Don’t ever to it again.’ But this time, I think she’s going to have to bear with me on this one.''
Joe Girardi said he had no definite role for Qualls other than to be ready when called upon. "Just another right-hander for us,'' he said. "Sinkerball guy that can get ground balls for us. He's obviously pitched in some later innings in his career. We'll use him and we'll mix him in.''
As for Wade, who made the trip here with the team only to be told after his arrival he would be heading to Rochester, Girardi said the conversation was "difficult.''
"He's a guy that's meant a lot to us over the last year,'' Girardi said. "The last month has been a struggle for him and we talked about going down and getting your stuff right. He sucked it up for us the other day by giving us almost 60 pitches. We told him, 'Go down, get your stuff right and you'll be helping us again.'""