The Ivan Nova Predicament

With Carlos Silva making his way through the Yankees minor league system and an opt-out clause approaching, Phil Hughes eligible to come off the disabled list on June 14, and the trading season right around the corner, the Yanks might want to re-evaluate their starting rotation and see if any of the guys are replaceable.  CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett are both under big contracts and pitching well so they will stay and for the time being Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are pitching well enough.  This leaves Ivan Nova as the odd man out.

(Photo Credit: Christopher Pasatieri)

Nova has been consistently inconsistent for the entire season and is definitely the weak point in the Yankees rotation.  He is striking out 4.5 per nine innings while walking 4 per nine innings while allowing a BABIP of .309.  He has also pitched to a 4.67 ERA, a 4.39 FIP, and a 1.59 WHIP.  Also, his last four starts have been pretty bad going 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in that span.  This being said, there has been a lot of speculation about Nova’s rotation spot and whether he will keep it.

To me, I think Nova has to stay in the rotation for two reasons.  First of all, if the Yanks seriously want him to be a long-term starter for their team, he needs to go through his growing pains now.  He is only 24 and he definitely has the potential to be a good starter, but if they don’t show confidence and belief in him, he will never develop and mature into the starter they want him to be.

Also, if Nova is taken out of the rotation and either put in the bullpen or sent down to the minors, it will greatly decrease his trade value and he won’t be worth anything to the team.  The Twins among other teams are interested in Nova and he could be used in a package deal to acquire a veteran starter to help make the late-season push for a playoff spot.

So sure we as fans may be dissatisfied with Ivan Nova’s recent performance or performance overall, but we need to stick with him.  If we want him to be of any value to the team in the short-term or in the long-term, he needs to stay in the Yankees starting rotation and get his stuff straightened out.  It will come down to his next start on Friday in Anaheim unfortunately.


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