CHICAGO — Regardless of what Ivan Nova does Thursday night, Phil Hughes will make his next start, which is scheduled for Tuesday against Anaheim.
Joe Girardi made the announcement in his pregame meeting with reporters yesterday.
The future of Nova, unbeaten in his last six starts, is less certain.
“We want Nova to throw well and if he continues to throw well, we’ll have to answer some questions exactly what we’re going to do,” Girardi said. “But Phil was real good last night.”
The best he’s been, by far, all season.
In the Yankees’ rain-shortened 6-0 victory over the White Sox, Hughes allowed three hits in six innings. Hughes, who came in 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA since coming off the DL July 5, struck out four and walked none.
Girardi left open the possibility of staying with a six-man rotation a second time through, though with A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia both fairly adamant about their preference for pitching on regular rest, that’s unlikely. Meaning Nova, though he’s done nothing to lose his spot, could find himself in the bullpen or sent back to Triple-A. He left no doubt for his preference between those two options.
“I always say, the big leagues are the big leagues, nobody wants to be in the minor leagues,” Nova said. “If they think they need me in the bullpen, I go to the bullpen. I’m not saying I want to go there but if that’s the decision they make, that’s what I have to do.”