Vidal Nuno is set to start in Friday night’s opener versus America’s Teamâ„¢.

With a 5.88 ERA/5.54 FIP/4.41 xFIP, he’s clearly the worst pitcher in the rotation.

He’s rated as sub-replacement level by both Fangraphs (-0.2 WAR) and Baseball-Reference (-0.6 WAR)

So based on these numbers, why keep him around? In an ideal situation, you wouldn’t. But after Chase Whitley was deservedly called up, the cupboard is now bare.

Looking at the Yankees 40-man roster, there is Shane Greene (AAA) and Bryan Mitchell (AA). Both of them have ERAs over 5.00, so the case to bring them up isn’t very compelling.

However, despite the higher ERAs, they both have respectable FIPs. Mitchell has a 3.47 FIP, bolstered by a 9.47 K/9. Greene’s FIP is 3.52.

The high ERAs can be sourced to low Left-On-Base percentage rates — meaning a high rate of baserunners are scoring when they reach base. Both Greene and Mitchell’s LOB % are among the worst in their respective leagues. This could be an indicator of bad luck or crappy defense. Who knows?

But, they’ve both pitched better than their ERAs suggest, and Nuno is sub-replacement. Roll the dice. Maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. It’s worth a shot.