New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova not only gave up six runs in six innings against the Chicago White Sox in Tuesday's 7-3 loss, but there's apparently something wrong with his pitching shoulder, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
Hoch tweeted on Wednesday:
Ivan Nova felt his pitching shoulder grab in the 6th inning last night. Sent to NY for tests.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 22, 2012
Nova hasn't had a particularly impressive second full season with the Yankees after showing promise last year. He owns a 4.92 ERA and 1.46 WHIP, and has surrendered 25 home runs, fifth-most in the American League.
But the reason his absence could be a big loss is because the Yankees don't have much pitching depth. Andy Pettitte is sixth on the team with nine starts, but he won't join the club until next month once he recovers from a fractured left ankle.
David Phelps would be the logical replacement for Nova. Phelps has made 24 appearances this season, including five starts, registering a 2.69 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. His last start was on Aug. 18 against the Boston Red Sox, in which he allowed three runs in 6.2 innings. This is his first major-league season.
While Phelps has generally pitched well this season, asking a rookie to replace Nova when everyone is gunning for you may become a problem for the Yankees.
The Yankees currently own a 72-51 record, third-best mark in baseball and best in the American League, and are 3.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. Their starters' ERA (4.05) ranks fourth in the AL.
One thing they do have going for them is they've scored the second-most runs in baseball (606), which is part of the reason Nova has a winning record (11-7) despite his poor pitching.
Let's talk about this on Twitter.