Manager Aaron Boone announced Saturday that Cessa will begin the season out of the bullpen in a long-relief role, Bryan Hoch of reports.

Boone did mention the possibility of utilizing the opener strategy April 1 against the Tigers, and Cessa could be used as the primary pitcher should they go that route. The 26-year-old was in the mix for a rotation spot with Luis Severino (shoulder) and CC Sabathia (knee, chest, suspension) sidelined for the beginning of the season, but Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga will be called upon instead. Cessa showcased himself near perfectly in spring training with a 0.53 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 18:1 K:BB through 17 innings, but will nonetheless start the season in the bullpen.

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