Yankees send Ivan Nova to Triple-A to make room for Phil Hughes

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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.

The Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.