TAMPA - The New York Yankees announced on Saturday that Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia will form the back end of the starting rotation, with Bartolo Colon being assigned to the bullpen.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the decision prior to the Bombers' Grapefruit League game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 24-year-old Nova has had a solid but unspectacular spring thus far. A perfect six-inning start against Baltimore on March 16 was balanced out with a two-run, three-hit outing over six frames against the Astros this past Friday.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Nova went 1-2 with a 4.50 earned-run average in 10 games (seven starts) during his first major-league campaign in 2010.
Garcia, 35, racked up a 5.93 ERA in 13 2/3 innings over four spring training starts, but Colon turned in a 2.40 ERA over 15 innings of work thus far.
The veteran right-hander Garcia was 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 28 starts for the White Sox last season, while the 37-year-old Colon has not pitched in the majors since 2009, going just 3-6 with a 4.19 ERA in 12 starts with the ChiSox.
CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes are being counted on to pack a potent punch at the head of the rotation for Girardi's squad.
The Yanks open up the 2011 regular season on March 31 by hosting the Detroit Tigers.