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Yankees send Ivan Nova to Triple-A to make room for Phil Hughes

Jul 3, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

Ivan Nova Reuters

A four-game winning streak wasn’t enough to save Ivan Nova‘s roster spot.

In spite of the rookie right-hander’s recent success, he was shipped back to Triple-A on Sunday, with reliever Lance Pendleton coming up to claim his spot.  Phil Hughes is expected to come off the DL on Wednesday to take over in the rotation.

Nova was coming off a win over the Mets on Friday in which he allowed one run in five innings.  The Yankees had won each of his last five starts, with the 24-year-old going 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA in the process.  For the season, Nova was 8-4 with a 4.12 ERA.

Still, unless the Yankees decided to suddenly reverse course and send Hughes to the pen, either Nova or Freddy Garcia had to go.  Were the Yankees forced to pick one of the two for the rest of the season, they probably would have chosen Nova.  But Garcia has pitched plenty well enough to stick around, having amassed a 3.28 ERA in 85 innings, and unlike Nova, he wasn’t going to be a phone call away in Triple-A if he had been jettisoned.

  1. pisano - Jul 3, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Good move, while he should end up being a quality ML pitcher, at this point he’s a little erratic. A little more seasoning in the minors and he’ll probably be back for the Sept call up, if not before.

    • uyf1950 - Jul 3, 2011 at 1:03 PM

      pisano, my friend. How are you doing this 4th of July? Hope all is well.

      As for Nova, not totally unexpected that he was sent to Triple A. He really has been the weakest link in the starting rotation since Hughes went down with the injury. Also, he was the only starter that was eligible to be sent down. In the long run I think it works to his benefit. I’m sure he will be back although next time I think it will be in the role of “long relief” That’s just my opinion.

      BTW, some much for that rumor the other day that the Yankees were considering a 6 man rotation. Never was going to happen.

      • bigharold - Jul 3, 2011 at 1:14 PM

        “He really has been the weakest link in the starting rotation since Hughes went down with the injury.”

        Except there is that pesky 4-0 with the 3.41in the last five starts. Hardly weak in fact it looks like he’s getting into a good rhythm.

      • uyf1950 - Jul 3, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        bigharold – not really when you consider the last 5 outings are skewed a little by one outing on June 20 versus Cincinnati. His ERA combined for the other 4 outings is 4.30 nearly a point higher. Hasn’t the general consensus on this site been wins and loses are the poorest way to evaluate a starting pitchers performance. Besides as I stated in my earlier post, I certainly believe he will be back.

  2. bigharold - Jul 3, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    It makes far more sense to send him down than put him in the pen. All things considered, the Yankees starting pitching, which was suppose to be questionable, has really been very good to excellent. Too many starters, assuming Hughes come back to expected form, is a good problem.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Jul 3, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    This will work out great. He will keep sharp in the minors, the alternatives were not palatable, and perhaps he will be less of a nail-biter when called up for any emergencies.
    Our sixth man in the rotation will be in Scranton

  4. deathmonkey41 - Jul 3, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    I hope this isn’t a detriment to his progress. I would have cut Mitre and sent Garcia to the pen for long relief.

    • Old Gator - Jul 3, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      I would have cut Mitre just to watch him bleed. I still have sour memories of his tenure down here in Macondo. Just good enough so that it really pissed me off he wasn’t better.

  5. henryd3rd - Jul 3, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    I wonder why they rushed to make this decision when they are not sure what they’re going to get from Hughes. I would have preferred that they waited to see how Hughes does when he faces MLB hitters and not those dudes playing on the Trenton Thunder. Having said that I’m sure Yankee management is quite pleased with the Yankees position at this pint in the season.

  6. purdueman - Jul 3, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Steve Stone announced Nova’s demotion during the pre-game show today and Hawk Harrelson quickly quipped: “HE GONE!!” :-)

  7. nybadboy11 - Jul 3, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    that’s terrible the kid was doing his thing getting work in to be a good pitcher and they stop his advancement to use a old garcia

  8. derpdederpdederp - Jul 3, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    phil hughes is back? great news for the rest of the AL East

    • pisano - Jul 3, 2011 at 9:56 PM

      I think you have him confused with either John Lacking or Bobby Jenks.

      • purdueman - Jul 3, 2011 at 10:07 PM

        It’s John “I’m a real” Lackey and Bobby STINKS! Lackey… the human rain delay!

  9. pisano - Jul 4, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    purdueman… You got me there, but both our post insinuate these two are overrated and waaaay overpaid.

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