Ivan Nova set to return from Tommy John elbow surgery, rejoining Yankees’ rotation

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Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova is ready to complete his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery and is expected to come off the disabled list to make his season debut Wednesday against the Phillies.

For now the Yankees have said they’ll use a six-man rotation, but it’s unlikely to be a long-term solution and Nathan Eovaldi and Adam Warren could be pitching for their starting jobs.

Nova is about 13 months removed from surgery and his minor-league rehab assignment was a mixed bag in terms of results, but reports had his velocity back to pre-surgery levels. He’s making $3.3 million this season via arbitration because the Yankees wanted to keep the 27-year-old with a 4.20 career ERA despite knowing he’d miss the first 2-3 months.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.