Selected by the Indians in the 48th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, released two years later and now taking Ivan Nova's spot in the Yankees' starting rotation is 25-year-old left-hander Vidal Nuno.
While Nova was activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi sent him to the bullpen.
Instead, Nuno, who will start Saturday's game against the Rays, will keep the gig after shining in his first Major League start on May 13, when he threw five shutout innings against the Indians.
"Nuno did a very good job in his last start, so we're going to stick with that," Giardi said.
Released by the Indians before the start of the 2011 season, Nuno's last mark as a member of the Cleveland organization was a 4.96 ERA with Class A Lake County. He was signed by the Yankees later that season and hasn't posted an ERA above 2.96 at any level since.
Nuno is expected to throw about 75-90 pitches, while Nova, stretched out for multiple innings, could be used in relief.
The Rays send unbeaten Matt Moore to the mound, where he'll be looking for his ninth win of the season. The 23-year-old could become the fifth-youngest starter of all-time, and the second-youngest left-hander, to begin a season 9-0.
Moore, who has a 2.29 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 55 innings, downplayed the significance of the win.
"We're trying to win every game," he said. "The same 'want-to' is there."
While the Yankees took the first game of the three-game series Friday, the Rays are 13-4 against them at Tropicana Field since July 21, 2011.
Yankees: Granderson breaks finger
The Yankees suffered yet another blow Friday night when Curtis Granderson was hit in the left hand by a 90-mph sinker from Rays lefty Cesar Ramos. Granderson suffered a fractured left metacarpal (knuckle on pinky finger) and will be out at least four weeks.
Granderson missed the first six weeks of the season with a fractured right forearm suffered after getting hit by a pitch from J.A. Happ.
Rays: No concern over Rodney's struggles
Fernando Rodney has already blown four saves this season after going 48-for-50 in 2012.
But manager Joe Maddon looks at the big picture and sees a proven closer that hasn't lost ability, just confidence.
"It's not like he's been awful. He has not been awful," Maddon said. "It's so close between feeling really good about himself and not feeling good about himself. Physically, he's fine."
Most alarming might be Rodney's walk rate. He's issued 17 free passes in 18 1/3 innings this season after walking just 15 in 74 2/3 innings a year ago.
• Matt Joyce, who left Tuesday's game with left hamstring tightness, was back in the Rays' lineup Friday -- in the leadoff spot -- and went 1-for-4 with a double.
• Yankees third baseman David Adams went 2-for-4 Friday and is 6-for-16 with two home runs over his last four games.