CHICAGO -- The Yankees have bumped struggling right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the bullpen, hoping that he will be able to straighten out the issues that have seen him post a 9.20 ERA over his last six starts.Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he expects Eovaldi will return to the rotation at
CHICAGO -- The Yankees have bumped struggling right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the bullpen, hoping that he will be able to straighten out the issues that have seen him post a 9.20 ERA over his last six starts.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he expects Eovaldi will return to the rotation at some point, but the demotion made sense at this juncture because Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller have both been handling heavy workloads of late.
"I started as a starter and I want to finish as a starter," Eovaldi said. "I see myself as a starter. I'm not seeing it as [permanent] right now. I'm here to help the team and we're short on guys. I'm ready."
Eovaldi's demotion comes on the heels of Chad Green's sharp outing on Sunday, as the rookie right-hander held the Padres to one run on three hits over six innings in a 6-3 victory at San Diego. Girardi said that Green will take Eovaldi's spot in the rotation, starting on Friday at Cleveland.
"It played into it, but I'm not going to make too much of one performance," Girardi said. "I think Chad can help us, too. Nathan has struggled this month. We're trying to get him straightened out. We figured, let's get him straightened out for now and he can really help us."
Eovaldi was 6-2 with a 3.71 ERA through his first 10 starts before going into a tailspin which he attributes to inconsistency with his location. From June 3 on, opponents have batted .344 with a 1.109 OPS against Eovaldi, including 12 homers. His 19 homers allowed have already surpassed his career high.
Girardi said that, with Eovaldi's velocity and splitter, he should be able to make an easy transition to the bullpen.
"He pitched Friday and was walking around the outfield and said, 'I'm ready to go today,'" Girardi said. "That's who he is. I think he'd prefer to pitch every day if he could, so I don't think it will be hard."
Girardi said that with Betances and Miller unavailable, Eovaldi would be asked to serve as the Yankees' seventh- and eighth-inning choice if needed on Monday. Later this week, Eovaldi will transition into a bridge reliever to get the ball to the big three of Betances, Miller and Aroldis Chapman until the All-Star break.
"I think he's going to do fine," Girardi said. "I've said all along, I believe that he's going to turn his struggles around. I don't have any doubt in that. It might help him."
• Carlos Beltran returned to the Yankees' lineup on Monday as the designated hitter, but Girardi said that he is not sure if Beltran (tight right hamstring) will be ready to play the outfield during the three-game series against the White Sox.
• Mark Teixeira received a day off on Monday after hitting his 400th and 401st career home runs on Sunday at San Diego. Girardi said the Yankees are trying to manage Teixeira's balky right knee and did not want to play him a fifth straight game, considering the quick turnaround for Monday's matinee.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat