As expected, Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the team announced. The surgery will be performed on Tuesday by Dr. James Andrews, who looked over the test results yesterday.
So there you have it, Nova's season is done. We'll likely see him again at some point near the middle of the 2015 season.
"I think it's the right decision," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I haven't really seen anyone rehab a partially torn ligament and have success. It seems what it does is just delay the inevitable of what's going to happen. Then instead of maybe missing a year and a little bit of time, you miss a couple of years."
Nova was originally placed on the 15-day by the Yankees on Sunday after an MRI revealed the partially torn UCL, but just moved him over to the 60-day before tonight's game with the surgery upcoming.
This is a tough blow for the Yankees' rotation after Nova entered the season as the No. 4 starter, on paper, in the Yankees' rotation behind CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka. They were really hoping that Nova would be able to carry the momentum of his second half performance last season into 2014, to help their rotation be one of the best in the game.
Nova, however, got off to a terrible start this season, and after holding the Boston Red Sox to two runs in 7-plus innings Sunday night, he was shelled for eight runs on eight homerun -- four homeruns -- before leaving in the middle of the 5th inning in Saturday night's 16-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays because of the injury.
As for who might be able to take over for him in the rotation, Girardi announced on Tuesday that lefty Vidal Nuno, who made a spot-start for the Bombers on Sunday in Tampa, will be the team's fifth starter moving forward
Nuno pitched five shutout innings in the Yankees' 5-1 win in 12 innings. He held the Rays to just three hits and two walks, while striking out six on 65 pitches. Nuno isn't a hard-thrower -- according to BrooksBaseball.net, he averaged his fastball at 90 mph, and topped out at 91.8 -- but he mixes his pitcher very well and keeps hitters off balance.