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Thursday, September 6, 2012
Nova exiting the rotation?

By Andrew Marchand

BALTIMORE -- When Ivan Nova comes off the disabled list, it may be as a reliever, not a starter. Nova came through a bullpen on Thursday and Joe Girardi said the righty's inflamed right shoulder felt fine.

Now, the Yankees are deciding what Nova will do next as he is eligible to return on Friday.

"We're thinking that he could possibly come off the DL for us," Girardi said. "We just have to talk about it, do we want him to throw in another game, a simulated game or what we want him to do."

Girardi said the other day that Andy Pettitte will definitely be in the rotation when he returns, a claim Girardi didn't repeat in regards to Nova.

"We haven't talked about it," said Girardi, making a hard to believe statement. "We consider him a rotation guy. We don't consider him a bullpen guy. Like I said, I want to see how he feels tomorrow before I decide what is next for him."

Since Nova only went on the DL Aug. 23, Girardi has no concern about Nova throwing 80-90 pitches.

"I don't have that concern," Girardi said.

What is of concern to Girardi is that Nova has sort of stunk for awhile. In the second half of the season, he is 1-4 with a 7.28 ERA in eight starts.

If Nova does go back into the rotation, he could replace David Phelps or Freddy Garcia. Girardi said that Phelps wasn't pitching for his spot on Thursday, another dubious statement. If Phelps pitches well or terrible on Thursday, it will impact the Yankees' decision making.