TORONTO (AP) — The New York Yankees are moving Javier Vazquez to the bullpen and will let rookie Ivan Nova start in his place this weekend.
Vazquez was among the top pitchers in the National League last season, but has struggled this year. He’s 9-9 with a 5.05 ERA in 23 starts and has not won in five outings.
“I’m disappointed, obviously,” Vazquez said. “But I’m also not doing my job so I understand, of course.”
Also, shortstop Derek Jeter returned to the lineup after not starting Monday, his first day off after playing 17 days in a row. Manager Joe Girardi said Jeter has been bothered by soreness in his left leg.
The Yankees also skipped Vazquez for a start in May, and he won five of his next seven outings.
“The last time we skipped Javy a start it seemed to kind of jump-start him,” Girardi said.
Vazquez will be available in relief on Wednesday, Girardi said.
“It’s tough to look a veteran in the eye, (a guy) that’s had a lot of success in his career and has pitched really well for us at times and tell him we’re going to skip you a start because you know how bad he wants to be out there,” Girardi said.
Nova will pitch Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, and Girardi will re-evaluate the decision after that game.
“I want to see where we are after Sunday’s game to decide what we’re going to do,” Girardi said.
Nova made his first major league start against Toronto on Monday night, allowing two runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.
“I think his stuff is even better than he’s shown,” Girardi said of Nova.
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