Yankees dump Ivan Nova from rotation for David Phelps

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Ivan Nova has been a mess in the second half, including back-to-back ugly starts in which he lasted just 2.1 and 4.2 innings, and today manager Joe Girardi dumped him from the Yankees’ rotation.

David Phelps will take Nova’s place against the Red Sox tomorrow, with Nova being available out of the bullpen for what would presumably only be low-leverage action.

Nova went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 165 innings last season and headed into the all-star break this year 10-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 110 innings, but has a 7.05 ERA and .309 opponents’ batting average in 11 second-half starts with a stint on the disabled list with a shoulder injury mixed in.

Phelps has a 3.81 ERA and 50/21 K/BB ratio in 10 starts, plus a 2.76 ERA in 22 relief outings.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.