Nova suffered an inflamed right tricpes muscle in his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays; the team placed him on the DL on April 27. The right-handed pitcher originally planned to return on May 13 to start the second game of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians, but a sore left oblique delayed his return.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the media that the team considered replacing Vidal Nuno with Nova, they decided to place him in the bullpen to "get him back on track." Girardi also said that he would avoid bringing in Nova in the middle of an inning, since the pitcher has only made four relief appearances in his major league career.
Nova indicated his preference to pitch in the rotation, but also said he is willing to pitch in whatever role is necessary. The pitcher also believes he will get another chance to start this season, but he knows he must pitch well in his current role to earn that spot.
Nova posted a 6.48 ERA in his first four starts this season, but showed some signs of improvement. The 26-year-old averaged 9.72 K and forced hitters to hit groundballs 51% of the time. Nova did battle his control, as he averaged 4.62 BB/9.