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Nix added, Nova subtracted on ALDS roster

Nix added, Nova subtracted on ALDS roster

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Nix added, Nova subtracted on ALDS roster
BALTIMORE -- The Yankees finalized their roster for the American League Division Series against the Orioles on Sunday morning, naming utility man Jayson Nix, infielder Eduardo Nunez and right-hander Derek Lowe among their choices.

Among those who were told they would not be carried for the first round were right-handers Ivan Nova and Cody Eppley, as well as outfielder Andruw Jones.

"It came down to probably one pitcher and one position player, what you want to do," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Eppley's been here all year for us and done a good job for us. That was a tough decision and Andruw Jones was a tough one, because we know the impact he can put on a baseball. We decided to go with Nunie and Derek Lowe in those situations."

New York is carrying 11 pitchers for the ALDS. Girardi announced a rotation for the series against the Orioles that will feature CC Sabathia in Game 1, followed by Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes in Games 2 through 4, respectively.

New York's bullpen will fill in behind closer Rafael Soriano and setup man David Robertson with a group that includes right-handers Joba Chamberlain, Lowe and David Phelps, plus left-handers Boone Logan and Clay Rapada.

Lowe, 38, earned a spot after posting a 3.04 ERA in 17 relief appearances for New York, spanning 23 2/3 innings. He was 8-10 with a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts for the Indians before being released in August.

Girardi's decision to take Lowe as an extra right-handed reliever bumped the 26-year-old Eppley, who had a 3.33 ERA in 59 appearances spanning 46 innings this year, as well as Nova. But Girardi likes Lowe's ability to induce ground balls, as well as his playoff experience.

"He's been there in tough situations," Girardi said.

A 16-game winner last season, Nova had his final start of the season skipped last week against the Red Sox in favor of Phelps, completing a year in which Nova was 12-8 with a 5.02 ERA in 28 starts. Girardi said that Nova was bypassed from a bullpen role because he does not have much experience in relief.

"It's not something that he's done much of, coming out of the bullpen," Girardi said. "We'll keep him throwing and we'll keep Freddy [Garcia] throwing. Those two guys were with us the whole year and those are the guys that it's always really tough [for]. We'll keep them throwing just in case we need them."

Russell Martin and backup Chris Stewart are on the roster as a catching tandem, and the Yankees project a starting infield of Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

Eric Chavez will serve as a backup at the corner-infield spots, and Nix -- who hasn't played since Sept. 27 due to a strained left hip flexor -- can back up at three infield positions as well as play left field.

"Everything I've done so far, I've had zero setbacks or zero feelings from it," Nix said on Saturday. "It feels great. It feels normal."

While they have concerns about his defense, the Yankees will carry Nunez as a potential power bat against left-handed pitching. That fills a role occupied during the regular season by Jones, who finished the year with a weak second half and batted .197 with 14 homers and 34 RBIs in 94 games overall.

For their starting outfield, the Yankees figure to have Ichiro Suzuki in left field, Curtis Granderson in center and Nick Swisher in right.

Raul Ibanez is on the roster as a corner outfielder and designated hitter option, and the Yankees are also carrying Brett Gardner, who appeared in seven games late in the season after undergoing elbow surgery and can be used as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement.

"I don't know if I'll start him," Girardi said. "The one thing is, he hasn't had a ton of at-bats."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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