The Yankees’ bullpen looked good today in relief of Andy Pettitte, who lest after two-thirds innings pitched due to a Grade 1 groin strain, which will keep him out a projected 4-5 weeks.

This puts the Yankees in a very precarious position for several reasons.

The bullpen has now pitched over 13 innings in the past two games, because of A.J. Burnett’s injury from his clubhouse rampage yesterday and Pettitte’s groin injury today.

Needless to say, but 13 innings over the course of two games is a tall order for any bullpen, let alone the Yankees bullpen, which has been very inconsistent this year.

And obviously, with Pettitte being shutdown for the next month or so, the Yanks need another starter.

It is their plan right now to use Sergio Mitre as Pettitte’s replacement in the rotation until he recovers from his injury.

Mitre, who is coming back from an injury himself, isn’t exactly the right person for the job, in my opinion.

He is a starter by trade and has the ability to throw five or six solid innings of work, but he might be too valuable as a long relief pitcher out of the pen than as a starter.

He has appeared in 10 games this year (mainly as a long relief pitcher), but has made two starts where he has given up four runs on nine hits over nine innings pitched.

While in relief this year, Mitre has given up just three runs on five hits over 16 innings. That is why I think he should be in the bullpen, in which case Chad Gaudin should be released.

So who should start in Pettitte’s spot if Mitre does not?

Ivan Nova, who is an excellent young pitcher in the farm system, has the pitching ability to provide a boost in the Yankee rotation.

As a starter at AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre this year, Nova has hurled 103 innings over 17 starts, going 7-2 with a very respectable ERA of 3.21, and holding opposing batters to just eight home runs.

It was also rumored earlier this year, that he threw a 100 mph fastball, but minor league radar guns aren’t exactly the best in the world.

He did pitch in the majors earlier this year, throwing three scoreless innings over two games in his brief stint with New York.

Nova also makes sense because he would be able to get used to the majors this year, and would be much more comfortable heading into Spring Training next year, probably competing for the fifth spot in the rotation if both Andy Pettitte and Javier Vazquez depart after this season.

The Yankees will have a much needed day off tomorrow to rest up and make some organizational moves, and we shall see what transpires.



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