Via Meredith Marakovits, right-hander Ivan Nova threw a 30-pitch bullpen session today as he works his way back from right rotator cuff inflammation. He is eligible to be activated off the DL tomorrow, but that seems unlikely.
The more interesting news is that when he does return, Nova isn’t guaranteed to step right back into the rotation. Marakovits hears that the bullpen is a “consideration” and that all options will be discussed before a decision is made. Ivan was getting pounded before being placed on the DL — 7.28 ERA (4.74 FIP) in his last eight starts (47 IP) — and I get the sense that his return to the rotation will depend on a) how well David Phelps pitches, and b) how quickly Andy Pettitte gets healthy.
Nova very clearly has the stuff to start and should continue to do that long-term, but if the Yankees have better rotation options at the moment, then I would be interested to see him out of the bullpen. He’s made just a handful of relief appearances in his career and given the team’s shaky middle relief, Nova could end up being pretty useful down the stretch if he takes to it.
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