Wednesday night's start for Nuno could be a make or break type game for the young left-hander as he may need to give the Yankees a quality start in order to keep his spot in the rotation, especially with the recent call-up of Alfredo Aceves back to the team this weekend.
Since taking the spot for the injured Ivan Nova, Nuno has yet to pitch a single game where he's been able to last five innings; 4.1 innings against the Angels on April 26 and 4.2 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 2. Both were no decisions for Nuno, but it forced Joe Girardi to go to his bullpen a lot sooner than he would have liked.
The Yankees have ran into some early rotation struggles, especially with ace CC Sabathia and for a bit, Hiroki Kuroda (although he looked very good on Tuesday night against the Angels in the Yankees 4-3 win) and if Nuno can't even get past the fifth inning, it's a major problem for the Yankees, for Girardi and for the bullpen early on.
Nuno's control hasn't been as sharp since his first start of the season on Easter Sunday against the Rays and it's why he's getting knocked out of games before the fifth inning. Sure, Nuno has the talent and the makeup to be a pretty good left-handed pitcher, but maybe it's not in the rotation where be belongs.
If he can't give the Yankees length in the game, it could be the bullpen where Nuno needs to go on a permanent basis and be the second left-hander alongside Matt Thornton. And if Nuno fails to get the job done on Wednesday night, then Girardi needs to strongly consider removing Nuno and putting Aceves in the rotation.
Aceves' strong outing in relief of Sabathia on Sunday, pitching 5.1 scoreless innings in relief against the Rays earned him the chance to show the Yankees that he deserves a crack to see if he can give the Yankees more length in a game and if Nuno can't get the job done on a regular basis, then that switch between Nuno and Aceves is the move that's needed for the Yankees
In the simplest of terms; Nuno should be pitching for his job at Angels Stadium, because one more poor outing simply can't happen, especially if the Yankees can win an important road series that would keep them on top of the American League East race.
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