New York Yankees News: Ivan Nova Named Starter Wednesday


New York Yankees News: Ivan Nova Set To Return From DL After Tommy John Surgery

The New York Yankees will be receiving a boost to their starting rotation Wednesday, as Ivan Nova will be making his much anticipated return from the disabled list. Nova will get the ball in the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies, and will be the first time that he takes the mound for the Yankees since April 19th, 2014.

Nova complained about elbow pain after that game, as the Tampa Bay Rays battered Nova, scoring eight runs on eight hits, four of which were home runs. It was then discovered that Nova would need Tommy John surgery, and he has been rehabbing ever since.

“It was the moment that we were waiting for,” Nova said when talking today. “And now, two days away from the return, I’m really anxious, and really happy to be back.”

Nova will make his return in front of the home crowd at Yankee Stadium, and should receive a warm welcome. The 28-year old has a 40-22 career record with a 4.20 ERA. He has shown promise in two seasons though, compiling his best season in 2011 when he went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA, and then 9-6 but with a 3.10 ERA in 2013.

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The Tommy John surgery threw Nova off his path as he looked like he would be a fixture in the Yankees rotation for a long time. For now, he will return to what is a crowded rotation. He will be joining C.C. Sabathai, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Adam Warren.

For now the Yankees plan on going with a six-man rotation, as Warren was scheduled to start Wednesday but had his start pushed back to Thursday. If Warren slips up at all, he will more than likely be relegated to the bullpen. Even if he does well as a member of the six-man rotation, Warren could be moved to the bullpen anyway as the Yankees are hurting there because of injuries and ineffectiveness. But, he could also stick in the rotation as Nova will probably be on a bit of a pitch count to start off, and Tanaka is as much an injury concern as anyone in baseball.

Joe Girardi is someone that is excited for Nova to return, saying, “It could mean a lot. We know what he’s capable of doing, and he’s fairly rested in a sense, so it could mean a lot to our rotation.”

Nova has been rehabbing all season thus far, throwing in extended spring training and in rehab starts. They did not all go too well, including his last start. On Friday he suffered from a lack of control, maybe from being too excited knowing his return was imminent. He allowed five runs on seven hits for the Yankees Triple-A affiliate, but he isn’t worried about the performance there.

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“I didn’t pitch good, but it was the only bad one through the whole process. Even here in the major leagues you gonna have times when you don’t pitch good. So I don’t make any excuses about it. You know, it’s not the same excitement pitching in the minors when you know you can be on the big-league team.”

Being in the middle of a brutal stretch in which the Yankees will be playing 20 games in 20 days, a six-man rotation isn’t a bad idea right now. It should help save the bullpen and the starting rotation, as some players recover from various injuries. It will also enable Nova to acclimate himself back to being on the major league team, giving the Yankees what has been a reliable option for them prior to his injury. Wednesday will be an exciting night at Yankee Stadium, a little bit of a pick me up in what could be a boring series against the Phillies.

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