In a spot start against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, Nuno pitched five scoreless innings and struck out six, but did not earn the win — the Yankees needed 12 innings to beat their AL East counterparts, 5-1.
Nuno was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2009 and has been with the Yankees organization since 2011. Last year, he went 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in five starts with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, New York’s Triple-A affiliate. Nuno also made five appearances — three of them starts — for the Yankees in 2013, and he finished the season with a 2.25 ERA over 20 innings of work.
According to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, Girardi said Nuno earned the fifth spot with his impressive outing on Saturday, with his showing in spring training, and because he is in a better position to throw more pitches than both David Phelps and Adam Warren, the other two pitchers who were in consideration for the spot. That’s largely because, unlike Phelps and Warren, Nuno has served as a long reliever this season and has thus been able to go deep into his pitch counts.
Nuno is slated to get his next start against Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angeles this Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
As for Nova, the 27-year-old will seek a second opinion — that of Dr. James Andrews — before deciding whether or not to have surgery on his elbow, according to the team. Team doctor Chris Ahmad has already recommended surgery. If Nova were to undergo Tommy John surgery, he would miss the remainder of this season and likely all of next season.