NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The latest reports are in on Ivan Nova and they are not good.
The Yankees’ No. 3 starter could very well miss the rest of the regular season after the team reported Tuesday that surgery has been recommended to repair the 27-year-old right-hander’s damaged right elbow.
Nova left the Yankees’ 16-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday night after just four innings. He allowed eight earned runs and eight hits and was seen shaking his right arm.
The original diagnosis was of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, a similar injury to the one suffered by the Mets’ Matt Harvey, who opted for “Tommy John” reconstructive surgery and will likely not pitch again in the regular season until next spring.
Nova made four starts before going down and just didn’t look right. He went 2-2 with an 8.27 ERA and when he was bad he was very bad. He struggled with his velocity and didn’t have consistent bite on his breaking pitches.
If Nova ends up having surgery and is lost for the season the Yankees will likely continue to see what they have in Vidal Nuno. The 26-year-old left-hander was impressive during spring training, but ultimately was beaten out for the No. 5 starter spot by Michael Pineda.
Nuno, along with David Phelps and Adam Warren, who were also in that competition, was shipped to the bullpen, but pitched only sparingly before being forced into Sunday’s start against the Rays. He responded by throwing five shutout innings in the Yankees’ eventual 5-1, 12-inning win.
If Nuno fails to get it done in the rotation, the Yankees could look at Phelps and Warren, though both are beginning to establish themselves as valued late-inning relievers.
A trade could also be in the cards, though it’s way too early to accurately assess the market.
D-ROB LOCKED AND LOADED FOR FENWAY
Heading into the biggest series of their young season, the Yankees will be whole at the back end of the bullpen.
David Robertson was activated from the 15-day disabled list and will resume his role as closer when the Yankees open a three-game set in Boston on Tuesday, the team announced earlier in the day.
Robertson, who inherited the closer’s job after legendary Mariano Rivera retired during the offseason, had missed the previous two weeks due to a strained left groin, but looked good during a five-batter extended spring training outing on Saturday down in Florida.
Shawn Kelly, who had four saves in Robertson’s absence, will go back to his role as eighth-inning setup man.
To make room for Robertson on the roster, the Yankees outrighted left-hander Cesar Cabral to Triple-A Wilkes Barre.
Preston Claiborne, who pitched two scoreless innings and got the win Sunday in Tampa, remained on the roster.
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