Phil Hughes Returns, Ivan Nova Optioned: Wrong Move for New York Yankees

Nick Santa MariaContributor IJuly 3, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26:  Ivan Nova #47 of the New York Yankees in action against the Colorado Rockies during their game on June 26, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Phil Hughes is back and may be better than ever. He's scheduled to start this Wednesday. In his most recent rehab start, he threw 88 pitches and even reached higher than 93 mph. It looks as though he has returned to his former self. Rumors of thoracic outlet syndrome is a thing of the past. Hopefully he can regain his thunder and pitch well once again.

On another note, Ivan Nova was optioned. This move I cannot believe. Every Yankees fan knew that when Hughes returned, one of the starters would be removed from the rotation. The candidates were Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova. If Colon continues to pitch as well as he is, there is no stopping him. Optioning Nova to me does not make the slightest bit of sense at all.

Why not just move him to the Yankees bullpen as a long reliever? Oh wait, that below-average, meatball thrower, Sergio Mitre, holds that spot. Why not option him to Triple-A where he belongs?

The front office has some sort of fascination with this Mitre. They still think he can start games, but everyone really knows he can not. As soon as he was traded for Chris Dickerson this past spring, I was doing cartwheels. I (and many others) was overjoyed to see this guy go to Milwaukee where his struggles continued. 

This joy only lasted a few months. About a week or so ago, the Yankees reacquired this guy for cash considerations. Why? He fits no where into the needs of the bullpen. He can not set up games and can not pitch for more than an inning without serving up two or three runs. So why is he still considered a long reliever?

Mitre's career as a Yankee has not been pretty. In two years (2009-2010) he managed to proudly hold a 5.03 ERA in 105 IP. Not too pretty if you ask me.

I think the Yankees need to give Nova another chance. Many project Nova as more of a long reliever in the bullpen rather than a starter, so why not try that for know? It can not hurt more than Mitre is hurting the Yankees.

Sorry to sound like an anti-fan, but I just cannot stand Mitre. He is one of the most inconsistent pitchers and he really needs to go.

Best of luck to Ivan Nova in Scranton and be sure to watch Phil Hughes' return back to the mound.