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Yankees activate Nova from disabled list, send Betances to Triple-A

05/25/2013 1:14 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

The Yankees activated pitcher Ivan Nova from the disabled list prior to Friday's game against the Rays.(AP)
As Yankees general manager Brian Cashman surmised Thursday, Ivan Nova was indeed the first injured player to come back off the disabled list, as the team activated the 26-year-old right-hander prior to Friday night's game in Tampa.

Dellin Betances was optioned back to Triple-A to make room for Nova, and the bigger news is that manager Joe Girardi confirmed that Nova will be the one replacing Betances as a long reliever for the time being.

"(Nova) will be in the bullpen for now; we want to get him back on track, so we'll see if we can get him back on track that way," Girardi said of the move. "He's a guy with a power arm and he's struggled, and we want to get him back on track."

Girardi also said he will try not to use Nova in the middle of an inning, and with Adam Warren still likely unavailable Saturday after throwing four innings Wednesday, the skipper liked the idea of having Nova to piggyback scheduled starter Vidal Nuno.

"He's going to have to make it work, because we need him to help us," Girardi said.

Nova went on the disabled list on April 27, one day after leaving his start in Toronto in the third inning with what was diagnosed as triceps inflammation. He ended up missing nearly four weeks, in part because of another upper torso injury suffered during his rehab.

Prior to going on the DL, Nova was 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in four starts, none of which saw him pitch past the fifth inning. His move to the bullpen means that David Phelps, who pitched 7 2/3 innings on Friday and is now 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA in five starts since joining the rotation, will stay there for the time being.

"He just competes really well, and he has four pitches that he can use any time," Girardi said of Phelps. "He throws a lot of strikes, fields his position, and can control the running game…he does a lot of good things."

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