The right-hander also told reporters he is “ready to do it’’ when asked about making a start Saturday against the Reds at Yankee Stadium.
Nevertheless, Girardi wasn’t committing 100 percent to Nova being ready for the pounding his foot would take five days after being removed from Monday night’s game with a foot contusion and twisted ankle.
“He feels better. I can’t tell you he will make his start or not,’’ Girardi said before the Yankees’ 5-2 loss to the Orioles last night at Camden Yards. “Our plans are for him to make his start but see how he feels [Wednesday].’’
Today is Nova’s day to throw a between-start bullpen session. He said he could do it today or push it back to tomorrow. Girardi said pitchers have been able to start after not throwing a bullpen session between outings.
“We don’t have to make a decision until Saturday, game time,’’ Girardi said. “It’s not abnormal for a guy to miss a bullpen.’’
David Phelps, who posted the win Monday night in relief, is the likely candidate from within to start against the Reds if Nova can’t go.
Nevertheless, if Phelps is needed out of the bullpen before that, Girardi said he will use him.
“I think I have to use it accordingly and try to win the games,’’ Girardi said of his bullpen that is without Mariano Rivera and saw David Robertson go on the disabled list yesterday with a strained left oblique muscle. “If he can’t make his start Saturday, we might have to do something else.’’
Nova took a hard-hit ball off his foot in third inning and rolled his ankle chasing a chopper in the sixth Monday night.
By yesterday he said the foot was improving. During the afternoon he had it taped, but after the game, the tape was gone.
“It feels a lot better,’’ said Nova, who gave up five runs and seven hits in 5¹/ innings.
Nova said he is looking forward to starting Saturday.
“I think I’m going to make it, I’m not 100 percent,’’ said Nova, who is 4-1 but has a bloated 5.44 ERA in seven games.
Derek Jeter went 1-for-3 and has 3,144 career hits. He is eight behind Paul Waner, who is in 15th place on the all-time list. Waner had one hit with the Yankees, for whom he went 1-for-7 in 10 games from 1944-45.
Clay Rapada was woozy walking from the dugout to the clubhouse Monday night because of a viral problem. Girardi didn’t rule the lefty reliever out of last night’s game, but he did not pitch.
“I’ve been sick the last couple of days,” said Rapada, who replaced Nova and retired Chris Davis on a liner to Mark Teixeira, walked Nick Johnson and was removed. “I was feeling anxiety on the mound. I came off and I had blurry vision and the shakes. I took an Excedrin in the first inning for a headache. It was a bad combination with the antibiotics I was on.’’
Rapada said his throat was infected, something that has been going through the Yankees’ bullpen.
Raul Ibanez said his bruised right elbow was feeling OK, but with the Orioles starting lefty Wei-Yin Chen, Ibanez wasn’t going to be in the lineup regardless. He took a pitch on the elbow Monday night.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Ivan Nova, Nova, Girardi, the Yankees, David Phelps