A four-game winning streak wasn’t enough to save Ivan Nova’s roster spot.
In spite of the rookie right-hander’s recent success, he was shipped back to Triple-A on Sunday, with reliever Lance Pendleton coming up to claim his spot. Phil Hughes is expected to come off the DL on Wednesday to take over in the rotation.
Nova was coming off a win over the Mets on Friday in which he allowed one run in five innings. The Yankees had won each of his last five starts, with the 24-year-old going 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA in the process. For the season, Nova was 8-4 with a 4.12 ERA.
Still, unless the Yankees decided to suddenly reverse course and send Hughes to the pen, either Nova or Freddy Garcia had to go. Were the Yankees forced to pick one of the two for the rest of the season, they probably would have chosen Nova. But Garcia has pitched plenty well enough to stick around, having amassed a 3.28 ERA in 85 innings, and unlike Nova, he wasn’t going to be a phone call away in Triple-A if he had been jettisoned.