Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Yankees were counting on Ivan Nova to be a strength in their 2014 starting rotation, based on his effectiveness in the latter half of last year. But so far, the results have not been good in 2014, and things got a whole lot worse on Saturday.
Nova complained of pain in his right elbow as the Tampa Bay Rays blasted him en route to a 16-1 win. The worst news was yet to come. A short time ago it was announced that Nova has a partially torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL). Actually that may not be the worst news, that could still be to come.
Nova will be re-evaluated, his MRI, X-Rays and whatever else will be double- and triple-checked. The bottom line is that Nova could be headed towards Tommy John surgery. In fact, he probably should just go ahead and have it done since if they go the rehab/rest route, he'll probably eventually need it anyway.
In the meantime, David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno are all candidates to replace Nova in the rotation. Nuno is scheduled to start Sunday's finale with Tampa Bay so that Masahiro Tanaka does not have to pitch on three days rest.
The Yankees have Al Aceves working as a starter at Triple-A Scranton, but he's thrown just one game so far. Among the unsigned free agents still out there are former Yankee and Pirate, Jeff Karstens. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder last June, but was feeling good this Spring. He threw for some teams during Spring Training, but did not get a deal.
Barry Zito, who went from Cy Young to Cy Disaster took some time off, but isn't retiring. And is not the answer. Do you hear me Brian Cashman?