Javier Vazquez is going to the bullpen, but the Yankees say it isn’t permanent.
Why not? Because the Yankees need innings from their starters. CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes can't do it all.
Vazquez, the soon to be out-the-door free agent is 9-9 with a 5.05 earned run average. At this point, he is what he is: a mediocre pitcher.
When the Yankees acquired him from the Braves, there seemed little downside beyond his $11.5 million salary. Trading Melky Cabrera for him was safe because Brett Gardner appeared to have more upside, especially in his legs. Vazquez was 15-10 with 238 strikeouts and a 2.87 ERA for the Braves. Anyone would have made that deal.
For now, Vazquez will be replaced by Ivan Nova, who pitched a creditable game (two runs in 5 1/3 innings) in his first big league start and showed moxie in his verbal jousting with Toronto's Jose Bautista.
Nova will start Sunday in Chicago. If he pitches well, he will at least make it difficult for the Yankees to replace him with Vazquez.