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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Nuno heads to Triple-A confident

By Matt Ehalt

Vidal Nuno's impressive first career start Monday in Cleveland did have one drawback.

"As I told him, he did so well he probably got himself sent down because he went so long," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday, regarding Nuno's demotion. "He goes one inning and he throws 30 pitches, he's probably still here and somebody else goes."

Vidal Nuno
Vidal Nuno is headed back to Triple A -- but maybe not for long.
One day after Nuno tossed five shutout innings in a win against the Indians, the Yankees optioned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as they activated outfielder Curtis Granderson. Nuno will rejoin the rotation in Triple-A and is scheduled to start Saturday. The Yankees sent him down because Nuno would not be available for a few days due to his lengthy outing.

"I'm fine with it. I'm a rookie so I can't complain," Nuno said. "It's part of the business and got to get ready for my start in Triple-A on Saturday."

Nuno joined the Yankees in late April and made his first career appearance on April 29, pitching three innings in a blowout loss to the Astros. Nuno then waited a full two weeks before the team made him their starter in the second game of Monday's doubleheader.

Pitching to avoid a sweep, Nuno gave up just three hits over 89 pitches as he recorded the win. That quality outing gave him confidence he can contribute when called upon.

"It's just knowing that I can pitch up here," Nuno said. "I showed everybody I belong up here. Now it's just timing."

Nuno said his short time with the Yankees was unbelievable, and he's not going to focus on when the Yankees are going to call him up again. He leaves in good standing, as the team liked what they saw in his two outings. Nuno pitched a combined eight innings and gave up no runs.

"We feel really good about what he did in a short stint. We'll recall him as we feel the need," Girardi said. "He opened our eyes in spring training, he continues to impress, and I don't think we have any hesitation about calling him back up."

The Yankees could end up using Nuno in a role similar to how they used David Phelps last season -- using him as a spot starter/reliever while bouncing him between Triple-A and the Bronx. Phelps gave Nuno some advice on what he can expect if the team utilizes him in that manner.

"Keep your head up, do what you got to do and in no time you're going to get that phone call and you're heading back up," Nuno said of Phelps' advice.

ADAMS COMING UP? With Granderson back, the Yankees could soon part ways with outfielder Ben Francisco. One possibility for a call-up is infielder David Adams, as a report in the Daily News indicated. Girardi didn't say whether Adams would be coming up, possibly as early as Wednesday.

"Today's today, I'll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow," Girardi said. "There's always going to be speculation about what we might do or might not do. Some of it's going to be true, some of it's not. I don't really have anything for you today."