In wake of Ivan Nova‘s elbow injury, and perhaps Clay Rapada‘s continued rehab, the Yankees have called up Vidal Nuno from Triple-A. The left-handed starter has been perhaps the best starter in the system on paper, but his low velocity and age has held him back from being called a prospect. He joined the Yankees’ system in 2011, where he put up a 1.80 ERA in 7 starts in Charleston. In 2012, Nuno pitched to a 2.96 ERA as a starter and reliever for Tampa, and then a 2.45 ERA for Trenton. In 4 starts in Scranton, the left-hander has given up just 4 runs, 2 walks, and 2 home runs in 23.1 innings.
The southpaw has always been considered old for his level, but at 25, he’s actually younger than both Ivan Nova and David Phelps. He is now the young guy. Most scouts have called Nuno an organizational arm, but I’ve been a much bigger fan. Nuno’s fastball typically works in the high-80′s, and his arm slot works well when pitching to left-handed hitters. Nuno’s biggest tool is his changeup, which has looked spectacular in every outing I’ve seen. This secondary pitch allows him to be highly successful against right-handed hitters, a huge factor in his success as a starter.
His role with the big league club is unknown thus far, but his ability to pitch to both right-handers and left-handers should allow him a big opportunity in both the bullpen and rotation.