Yankees planned to demote Nova after Thursday’s start

Monitoring Sabathia's workload
Game 112: Increase The Lead

Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees had planned to send Ivan Nova back to Triple-A Scranton following Thursday’s start against the White Sox, but he pitched so well that they just couldn’t do it. “It is hard to send out a guy who strikes out 10 and walks none,” said Brian Cashman.

Larry Rothschild called the current rotation situation a “crossword puzzle,” and indicated that the Yankees could use their starting surplus to give Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia extra rest down the stretch. Not just a few days, but skip them entirely once in a while. The Yankees begin a stretch of 30 games in 30 days on Tuesday (one day off, one doubleheader), so they won’t have any extra off days they can use to rest their starters. Either way, it’s been made clear that no one in the rotation will be shifted to the bullpen.

Monitoring Sabathia's workload
Game 112: Increase The Lead
  • Craig

    Too bad they can’t send the $90 million headcase down; however, I’m a bit intrigued as to see how Burnett would play outta the pen.

  • TJ

    Agree, send down AJ if anybody.

  • crawdaddie

    I don’t like playing with a short bench, but with Colon and Garcia throwing a bunch of innings this year, it might be best to keep six starters until we get through this stretch of games in August and that doubleheader. Arod coming back is going to force them to make some kind of move anyway.

  • Nick

    I realize that he’s making a boatload of money and all, but can’t we send AJ to the pen? Chances are he doesn’t get a playoff start at this point anyway:


    Should Colon or Garcia “break down,” I’d much rather replace them with a Hughes or Nova.

  • TJ

    To anyone,

    Give AJ a black eye.

    Seemed to work last year.

    • Slugger27

      How did it work? He was terrible last season

  • paulb

    Nova should stay, he’s earned it. Send AJ or Hughes down or to the pen.

  • steve (different one)

    I think this is a fine plan. It’s only controversial b/c it’s the Yankees. The yankees have no one in their lineup that needs to be PH for, so the Yankee bench is less important than other teams.

    The big downside is that it keeps Montero down. He’d be up already if not for the pitching surplus. But I can wait another 3 weeks if it keeps the rotation healthy for October. It’s just a bigger priority.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      And who’s making a controversy out of it?

      • steve (different one)

        It’s been a hot topic the entire week. I’m not suggesting it’s been a controversy around these parts. Just last night Kay was astonished that the Yankees didn’t make a roster move.

        • mike c

          kay’s astonished by a lot of things

  • Faiaz

    I got a feeling that A.J. is gonna be a crucial part of October baseball for us.

    • CMP

      If that’s the case, then all hope is lost.

      By the way, where has FTLT been? I haven’t seen her post in a while. Hope she’s just on vacation or something.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      By crucial part you mean by pitching against John Lackey in the biggest postseason slugfest ever then yes.

  • Monteroisdinero

    We can’t send AJ down. His stuff is ELECTRIC and allows him to be a .500 pitcher with one or two breakdown innings per game. That kind of consistency is something you can’t replace and certainly not with a guy like Nova who is/has:

    mentally tough
    throws 4 quality pitches
    24 years old
    improving with every start

    /some sarcasm-more reality

    • CS Yankee

      Let’s not cancel October choices in August. AJ can’t go to SWB, needs some time while we keep our other (more likely) options (Hughes/Nova) in the mix.

    • fren

      Nova doesn’t have two quality pitches, much less four. Is there a chance his stuff improves? Probably, is it likely? Not really.

      Doesn’t mean he can’t a good/average pitcher.

      • SDM

        his fastball has velocity and a ton of natural sink, his curveball is sharp with bite. Nova has been able to command both with a good amount of accuracy; they are quality pitches.

        Nova stuff has never been the problem, he has a very good arm. Its deception and the lack of a true out-pitch that has limited his ceiling but with the development of that slider he may have that strikeout pitch.

        • Dave M

          Nova’s slider had been a big pitch for him since his recall. Especially in the last start.

    • BK2ATL

      So funny, so true.

      Messed up thing is that there are people who really believe that and make excuses for that trainwreck waiting-to-happen (AJ).

      And people are still advocating all of these long-term FA deals, as if….

      It’s so much more fulfilling as a Yankees’ fan when the kids show up and produce when the opportunities present themselves. Boone Logan gets ragged on here and everywhere, but he comes in and does his job and no more calls for Randy Choate or Scott Downs.

      I’m not a fan of Girardi at all, but it was a gutsy call to put Logan in there at that time, and fortunately, it worked out well.

      Nova and Hughes show up under pressure of reassignment, and no one’s talking about Cashman blowing it on Ubaldo Jimenez anymore.

      Soriano (not our product, I know) is back to form and no one’s calling out Cashman for blowing it on Adams or Heath Bell.

      Funny how things work when we’re winning.

      • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

        Logan isn’t home grown at all.

        • BK2ATL

          I know Logan wasn’t, but he’s still a kid.

          We traded our kid (Michael Dunn) for Logan in the Vasquez deal. It really wasn’t expected for Logan to be with the big club so early. He was thrown into the fire because Marte went down, Coke was traded, and we had no other LOOGY ready.

          • JAG

            Uh, I like Logan now too, but Logan was a throw-in. He wasn’t a prospect, he wasn’t a kid, he wasn’t expected to be anything but a spare part. It’s actually a minor miracle that he’s even as close to effective as he is now.

  • Mark B.

    Mike- How many more bad starts would it take for Joe to remove AJ from the rotation? Sure seems like given his fragile psyche and massive contract, he’ll never be demoted unless he’s injured and unable to start.

  • CS Yankee

    Great stuff.

    Keep AJ as a starter for the next five weeks…if he sucks, shut him down for the year; as the pen doesn’t need a liability.

    His value is that of a starter and we all know he has an uphill battle to get into the top 3 or 4 spots come October. Maybe he gets it right, if not we have other solid choices however if you don’t give him a chance and someone else goes down or begins to suck…you have less options for positive outcomes.

    Were cool, let the bread bake and see what happens. My guess is that CC, Bart, Freddy play in the short series and Nova becomes the 4th starter in the long series. Hughes goes pen and AJ “supports” his team wearing a sweatshirt instead of a Uni.

    • bonestock94

      AJ’s not going anywhere even if he should.

      • CS Yankee

        Think was was off (or sat) the Twins series last year and did decent in the Texas start and that was after an awful year.

        2011 has better starters however…better than 2009 even. This gives them plenty of options. I agree if its within a run or so per start, AJ gets the nod. However, if AJ continue to pitch with a 5-6 (or more) ERA and the other five continue to rule the mound…AJ has to sit, right?

        • CS Yankee

          err, first was should read AJ.

    • desmonds gone crackers

      IMO Freddy still hasn’t proven that he’s capable of shutting down a high-powered offense. Sunday night’s game should provide some indication if he’s good enough to be the Yanks third starter in the post season.

      • Dave M

        Which is why Hughes will be ready to go out of the pen. Quick hook for Freddy tomorrow.

    • jb

      Can AJ be put in DL for having mental issues (otherwise known as a 10¢ head)?

      • steve (different one)

        No one else finds it ironic that AJ is a “headcase” for not being able to close out a 12 run lead when the guy they want to replace him with did the exact same thing about a week earlier?

        • sangreal

          Considering people have been calling AJ a headcase for years, I don’t think it has anything to do with one bad performance in Chicago last week.

  • Gonzo

    If he indicated that he wanted to give Bart and Freddy rest, I think that solidifies what we thought all along, right?

  • Winston Smith

    But once A-Rod comes back who do we send down? Noesi? I guess that’s the only option. You can’t send down Nunez. I’d rather see the 6 man and give our old guys some more days off than to see Nova get the boot again. Barring injury AJ will have no starts in the playoffs, we can all be assured of that.

    • CS Yankee

      It would be a good time to send Noesi down and have him throw two innings every third day (or so)in SWB. We may need him in October if Hughes, wade or Ayala don’t perform (or get hurt).

  • Mickey Scheister

    Out of the 13 pitchers, other than Nova and Noesi, who could be sent down via an option? They need one less pitcher, of course, and to demote Cervelli and promote Montero. I would hope they stick with Nova, send Noesi down and the starter they skip could be the long relief guy. But with Cashs most recent statement about no one in the starting six going to the pen, it creates an issue. I guess it’s a moot point until A-Rod comes back but they need to do something in the next couple of weeks.

  • King George

    Let’s see if the Yanks have the balls to do to AJ what the Giants did to Ziti in last year’s playoffs…

    • King George

      Zito, Ziti…same thing!

    • steve (different one)

      I don’t see any evidence that they wouldn’t. AJ got one start last year b/c they had no other option. He was shifted all the way down to the bottom of the list and had they acquired Lee, he would not have gotten a start at all.

    • BK2ATL

      This really needs to happen pronto.

  • Nuke Ladoosh

    Since the reasoning was sound to demote Nova and add Romero or UIF, for about 10 days and then recall Nova – the performance, no matter how strong, shouldn’t have influenced that plan.

    • toad

      Facts trump logic.

      • Nuke Ladoosh

        Your response was not logical.

  • infernoscurse

    convert aj to OF/rh off the bench

  • CMP

    You could make a case about a guy like Posada who have a legacy and has earned an extra long leash during his struggles but AJ hasn’t earned shit. If he isn’t one of the 5 best starters, he should be moved out. Nova and Hughes are hopefully part of the future and if they’re pitching well, it makes no sense to screw with them by putting one in the pen.

    If Hughes and Nova continue to pitch well, the only reason to keep AJ in the rotation is because it would be embarassing to Cashman to make him an $85 million waterboy.

    • BK2ATL

      I agree on the Posada comparison. Big difference btw him and AJ.

      Also, I’m pretty certain that this is Jorge’s final year playing in pinstripes. They won’t cut him or anything and will usher him out with class. He’s definitely earned.

      AJ??? Not at all to that level.

    • Rainbow Connection

      The thinking around here is that AJ earned it by winning a WS. I doesn’t matter what he gets paid for how long. He won a WS and it’s all worth it.

      • CMP

        Would have one it without him too. Did you forget game 5?

        • JAG

          Did you forget Game 2?

          And who would you have had pitch instead of him on that team? Say what you will about him now, but AJ was important to the ’09 WS run. Not saying that should earn him any leash now by itself, but to claim he wasn’t important in ’09 is simply wrong.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    The six man rotation is not common in American baseball but very acceptable in the Japanese Leagues. I had proposed that Colon and Garcia should skip their turn every other week for a short while but it was consider a horrible idea by another commenter. Now that the Yankees have 30 games in 30 days, the workload on the Colon and Garcia IMHO could break one or both especially Colon. CC needs a vacation of about two starts or 14 innings. So over the course of 30 days they would get skip one start a piece with a six man rotation. I don’t think this would upset the apple cart. AJ needs to throw every chance that he can get to show Playoff ready or not on the roster. If he can’t start how can you trust him to put the ball over the plate assigned to the bullpen. I know some comments already, “he has electric stuff” I been watching his electric stuff and it is not dominate from day one of his career to now. People don’t change. We need to play 500 baseball to end with 97 wins. This should secure a playoff spot. In September more rest can be planned to keep these guys fresh. Is it a perfect plan probably not especially when you type as you think but a rested SR can be the difference in a run to WS or an early exit.

    • CS Yankee

      Agrre with everything except the possibilty of AJ to the pen.

      The pen is awesomesauce, don’t mess with the sauce (less Noesi down, Hughes in). If he can’t cut it as a starter it is likely do to his lack of control (BB’s & WP). The pen is the best part of the team right now, there is no weakness there.

      AJ just might correct, I’m not betting on it but we’ll see what the next 5 weeks bring with him starting.

  • Bob Michaels

    Send Cashman and the pitching coach down.

  • KOFH

    What would happen if NY moved him to AAA? AJ would have to approve it, right? What if he declines it? What about waivers?

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      I believe he’s been put on waivers but no takers as of yet.

  • Gumbs gum

    Easy answer: Cut posada

    • Jedile

      I wonder if Posada would keep himself off the post season roster if it were better for the team.

      • nsalem

        Yes, that will more than likely happen. Jorge is a quitter.

  • Kosmo

    AJ is more than likely going to be a Yankee for the length of his remaining contract.Only way to get rid of him is to trade his 33 million plus contract for another big contract .For example trade him and cash for Bronson Arroyo then flip Arroyo to an NL team for a mid level prospect or 2 plus some cash. But that´s just wishful thinking on my part, it´s not going to happen.

  • nsalem

    The dim ones who want to get rid of AJ are the same folks who wanted to get rid of Hughes a couple of weeks ago. AJ has been a disappointment no doubt, but until this past start he hasn’t been terrible this year. I hope the other night is the start of something great for Hughes, but one great start against a dog offense doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing that he will be any more reliable than Bunett down the stretch.

    • Kosmo

      If you want to call me “dim“ that´s your perogative. I don´t mind one bit.LOL. In AJs last 10 starts he hasn´t pitched into the 6th inning in 5 of them. 8 so- called QS in 23 starts for the season sucks for 16 million. Yet some people characterize his season as not being terrible ?? What rose colored glasses do you have on ?

      • Zack D

        AJ has a 4.54 ERA, 4.66 FIP, and 3.92 xFIP.

        Overpaid? Yes.
        Terrible? No.

        • Kosmo

          All I see is 8 QS in 23 Starts .That simply means 6 innings plus, 3 runs or less. His 2 or 3 best years are well behind him.

        • CMP

          His ERA and FIP are WELL below average.

          • Zack D

            And what’s average for 2011?

            • Zack D

              Average for an AL Starter*

    • CMP

      The “dim” thing to do would be to keep running AJ out there and expect anything more than mediocrity which is what he has been producing for the last 2 years.

  • Ahinds

    I. Know its a long time away but is a.j. In the rotation nex year?

  • Bronx Byte

    Burnett doesn’t self destruct until the Yankees have a lead or it’s the 3rd inning or more, whichever comes first. Send him to the bullpen as a high paid mop up man.

  • BigBlueAL

    Lets see how committed they are to this 6 man rotation if next week either Hughes or Nova has a bad start.

    • steve (different one)

      to be fair, it doesn’t sound like they are “committed” to it at all.

  • http://RAB Leo in Houston

    Anyone who thinks Yankees will try to trade aj is not just dim, much slower than dim. With Freddy, Bart and Phil in rotation they need insurance. So zero chance of trading aj.

    • Kosmo

      And AJ provides insurance ? I´d rather have Adam Warren or Mutual of Omaha providing insurance.

    • Andrew518

      Aside from the rather obvious that there is a very limited market for highly paid non-dependable starters.

      • Kosmo

        I agree .If anything can be worked out it will probably have to wait to this offseason.

    • JAG

      Not to mention the No-Trade clause.

  • Andrew518

    As unorthidox as it seems I’d really push for the six man rotation, It just never seems to work out when you skip starts for a pitcher, tends to lead to a really bad start in their return.

  • http://RAB Leo in Houston

    Pendleton is out pitching Warren in AAA. Look at numbers. Warren would get killed, in all likelihood. It is soo delusional to think Yanks will get rid of or put him in pen. If everyone pitches ok Bart or Phil might go to pen–NOT AJ….now late Sept or Oct might be a time to send AJ to pen. NOT NOW.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Why not now? He belongs in the bullpen now. This division will be too tight of a race to keep a guy in the rotation knowing you probably won’t win when he pitches.

  • … Im kidding