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Nova taking uncertainty of role day by day

Nova taking uncertainty of role day by day

BALTIMORE -- Ivan Nova arrived at Camden Yards on Saturday with no inkling that the Yankees coaching staff was already kicking around the idea of having him rejoin the rotation this week against the Twins.

Nova could be sure that the Yankees also weren't planning on having him come out of the bullpen in the third inning, relieving David Phelps after a nine-run pounding in an 11-3 loss. So now Nova remains on the roster, uncertain what his next assignment will be.

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"I'm trying to not think too much, get ready for any time that they say, 'You're up,'" Nova said. "I don't try to think too far from right now. I'm just taking it day by day."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the staff will stay on rotation through the Twins series, so Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia and Phelps will all get starts at Target Field.

Girardi did say that he was pleased by Nova's relief outing, in which he held the Orioles to a two-run Chris Davis home run over 5 2/3 innings, scattering six hits while walking none and striking out four.

"I thought he pitched OK, and I'll just keep guys on rotation right now," Girardi said. "We'll see, maybe slot him in somewhere else."

The game was out of hand by the point Nova entered, but Girardi said a blowout can still be useful for evaluating a pitcher's stuff.

"I don't necessarily always look at the results," Girardi said. "You look at how you feel a guy throws and how he's competing and how he goes about his business. Games are different when they're 9-0, but you can look at it a lot of different ways.

"You can say, 'Well, the other team is awfully relaxed,' and as a hitter you want to be relaxed. I might say they're not quite grinding out their at-bats like if it were 3-0. You can look at it a number of different ways. You look at the quality of the stuff."

Nova has made a mantra out of saying that he must take advantage of whatever opportunities come his way. After making three starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, Nova said that he would prefer to stay in the big leagues even with an uncertain role.

"I just want to win," Nova said. "If I'm on the mound or any of my other teammates are on the mound, I want them to do a good job for the team," Nova said. "I'm not the type of guy that likes to be in last place.

"We're not really good right now and we're like [5 1/2] games from first place. I want everybody to do their job and pitch good. My time is going to come. I don't have nothing bad for [anybody]. I just want everybody to be good and healthy."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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