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Severino tabbed for Yanks' Grapefruit opener

Nova starts Thursday, followed by Mitchell on Friday
Special to MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced Sunday that Luis Severino will start against the Tigers in Wednesday's Grapefruit League opener at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Girardi added that Ivan Nova will take the ball Thursday when the Yanks welcome the Phillies to Tampa, and that Bryan Mitchell will get the nod against the Tigers on Friday in Lakeland.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced Sunday that Luis Severino will start against the Tigers in Wednesday's Grapefruit League opener at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Girardi added that Ivan Nova will take the ball Thursday when the Yanks welcome the Phillies to Tampa, and that Bryan Mitchell will get the nod against the Tigers on Friday in Lakeland.

Yankees' Spring Training info

"They're the guys that are ready," said Girardi when asked if there was a particular reason behind his choices.

Nova threw live batting practice earlier Sunday and performed well, according to the manager.

"He had a good curveball today; his command of the fastball was pretty good and his changeup is definitely improving," said Girardi of Nova's session, which saw the 29-year-old right-hander take an Aaron Judge liner off the thigh that proved to be harmless.

"That's probably not the guy you really want doing it. You don't really want anyone doing it, but that would not be the first guy I would pick to do it," said Girardi of the 6-foot-7, 275-pound Judge.

Girardi said Nova is looking at Spring Training as an opportunity to compete for his job.

"I've never sat down and asked him, but with all that's been written and everyone saying that there's six starters for five spots, I would think so, yes," Girardi said.

"You can go back to the year he was pitching so well [in 2011] and he kept getting sent up and down because of the roster spots, and he responded well."

When the subject turned to Severino, Girardi cautioned that the talented young right-hander remains a work in progress.

"This is a young man that pitched extremely well, but you've got to see how he responds," said the skipper. "He does not have a huge body of work. Your expectation is that he's going to be one of our starters from what we saw, but we've seen that not always translate in that second year."

Girardi likes the versatility that Mitchell brings, and has yet to determine what role best suits the right-hander.

"I think he's a guy that you've got to look at for both areas. You have to look at him as a starter, you have to look at him as a long man, and you also have to look at him in the Adam Warren role," Girardi said.

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com.

New York Yankees, Bryan Mitchell, Ivan Nova, Luis Severino