Jan
12

Open Thread: Ivan Nova

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(Photo by Steve Ruark/Getty Images North America)

For all the talk about the Yankees’ inability to develop starting pitching over the last decade or so, they churned out a pretty good one in 2011. After a 42 IP cameo in 2010, Ivan Nova was handed a rotation spot in Spring Training last year and wound up being the team’s second best starter. He took his brief demotion to Triple-A like a champ and came back a better pitcher, finishing the year with a shiny 3.70 ERA and 4.01 FIP in 165.1 IP. His peripheral stats improved as the season went on as well.

Nova turns 25 years old today, making him the third youngest player on the projected Opening Day roster behind only Eduardo Nunez and Jesus Montero. Age is just a number though, and he’s arguably one of the five most important players on the team at the moment. If he continues to get some strikeouts with that improved slider and maintains his ground ball rate, the Yankees are going to have one hell of a cheap arm on their hands for the next five years.

* * *

Here is your open thread for this chilly evening in New York. The Rangers, Islanders, and Knicks are playing, so non-Time Warner customers can enjoy that. If you’re still without MSG like me, tough luck. Talk about whatever you like here, the thread is yours.

Categories : Open Thread
  • Mike MzX

    Nova was terrific last year, and let’s hope his dominance continues. I’d hate to see a regression to his earlier performances, where he’d be solid in the first few innings, but he’d collapse in the 5th or 6th badly. Hopefully, that was just him getting acclimated to the show, and the “return from AAA” Nova we saw in the 2nd half is the guy we get in 2012.

    Sure hope so, he was downright phenomenal.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    Only feed of Cespedes’ winter ball debut:

    http://www.lidom.com.do/zvideo_tv_tl4.htm

    0-for-2 with two whiffs so far, the second on a pitch well out of the zone.

    • CANO FAN #1

      We post it together haha

    • CJ

      Miami will sign him. They said hey will chase him to the point of stupidity.

    • Plank

      The chat on the right side is pretty entertaining as well. It makes ESPN message boards look like Harvard professor conventions (yes, Harvard Professor Conventions.)

    • IVoted4Kodos

      Has he jumped any tall stacks of boxes yet? And have we caught any glimpses of his 80 glove adjusting tool?

      • Plank

        In the Dominican league, there is a tall stack of boxes between 3B and home plate.

        • vin

          Cespedes would excel at the game I invented when I was 8 years old.

          • IVoted4Kodos

            Calvinball?

      • Plank

        The glove adjusting tool would help in the cold weather of NYC.

        • IVoted4Kodos

          Warm hands = clutch in October

          • Plank

            Clearly he’s built for the postseason.

            • IVoted4Kodos

              Sign him up. As we all know, the rest of the season doesn’t matter.

              • Plank

                Moneyball 3.0

                • IVoted4Kodos

                  I’ve got a publisher lined up already.

                  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

                    This whole progression of posts is a work of art. Nicely played, all of you.

  • CANO FAN #1

    Yoenis cespedes make his debut tonight in the Dominican winter league he is 0-2 2k so far.

  • CJ

    Nova was great last year. There’s too much pressure on him for 2012. If he falls to just pretty good it will hurt.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      He’ll be fine under pressure. He talked about it last year. He doesn’t mind pressure at all. He will be even better next year.

      • Plank

        An athlete confident in his own abilities? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

        That’s all the assurance I need.

    • hogsmog

      180+ innings with sub 4.5 ERA and I will be happy.

  • vin

    I know a part of all of us is expecting the Yanks to sign Edwin Jackson, but I just can’t see it.

    At this point, they have 5 healthy, reasonably viable starters for 5 rotation spots with decent AAA depth and a solid bullpen. The way I see it is one of 3 things will need to happen for them to sign Jackson.

    Demotion – neither Hughes nor Nova will be sent down to make room for Edwin.

    Bullpen – Hughes might get moved to the pen at some point, but it appears the team is still committed to him as a starter (as they should be).

    Trade – Don’t see this happening at all. They’re not going to deal a starter – mostly because they don’t have any pressing needs at the ML level – just to sign Edwin.

    Like it or not, it appears they are willing to roll into next season with Burnett in the rotation. Maybe they trade him next year when there’s less money to eat, but I just don’t see him getting moved this offseason.

    I bet the Garcia killed any chance of Jackson, Kuroda, Oswalt going to the Bronx.

    In my opinion, feigning interest in Jackson is the Yankees’ way of maintaining a good working relationship with Boras.

    • BK2ATL

      This would be Cashman’s approach to things. Unfortunately, he might not be included in the Jackson talks with Boras. Let’s see how things play out.

      AJ won’t be worse than 2011, hopefully. Noesi is waiting in the wings. Hughes is due to bounce back. Garcia will be Garcia, steady. Nova might improve, might not.

      We don’t need Jackson or Kuroda or Oswalt. We won the AL East without all 3 of them. Neither Boston, Tampa, Toronto nor Baltimore majorly upgraded. In fact, Boston’s pitching situation is worse than ours. Aaron Cook? Vicente Padilla?? Andrew Miller??? Seriously?

      What’s not being widely considered is that on offense both Tex and A-Rod are due for major rebounds as well. Our offense being better could absorb a lot of any pitching woes.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Freddy Garcia won’t have a sub 4 ERA again. Bartolo Colon’s number two production is completely gone. AJ will marginally improve. Hughes and Noesi are complete question marks. Nova looks like he got a bit lucky last year but he should progress. His progression won’t match his production form last year PLUS Colon’s. Our situation blows too unless we strike it lucky with a AAA arm.

        Which at this point is fine because I’d rather see some risky maneuvering rather than signing the best just because they can.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      I don’t think the presence of Freddy Garcia would hold back the Yankees from getting another pitcher. I think the lack of an actual worthwhile pitcher would do so. You can always get rid of Freddy Garcia.

      • vin

        Maybe, but 4 million (or prorated portion) is a lot of cash to eat. And since he’s a vet, they won’t give him the Kei Igawa treatment and DFA him to get him off the 40 man.

        • Ted Nelson

          If they DFA him I would expect him to get picked up on waivers.

          They can hold a competition for the last two or three rotation spots should they sign Jackson… and deal with things as they shake out. The loser can be the long-man or go to AAA depending on who it is.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Nova Lox it down!

  • Plank

    2 more years for Selig.

  • BK2ATL

    I like what Nova did for us last year and in 2010. I like that he’s improving and hope that he keeps it up. He has a chip on his shoulder, which is great for keeping him in competitive mode. I hope that he continues to improve and stays confident. Nothing like rooting for homegrown players moreso than hired guns.

    Hopefully, Nova’s success opens the door wider for Noesi, Warren, and Phelps, along with getting Banuelos and Betances to focus on command and control in 2012.

  • bonestock94

    Vicente Padilla to the Red Sox, maybe? I’d love to see someone I hate that much play for them.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      Makes sense…add another world class a hole to the team of a holes.

    • Steve (different one)

      Lackey is out, so the starters needed a new drinking buddy

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      just read the comments on boston.com about padilla. most of them are “all for it!”

      that team had chemistry and leadership issues last year..probably should steer clear of a guy like Padilla.

  • BK2ATL

    Cespedes 3 at-bats, 3Ks…..

    Pretty early, but…..8 yrs/$60 million??? Hahahaha!!!!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      It’s been a while since he’s seen live pitching.

      • BK2ATL

        Clearly his 1st game in a while, but I’m sure he’s seen pitching during his time in the DR.

        I don’t think he’s even touched a pitch so far yet. His last at-bat, 3 breaking balls, maybe sliders. The swings don’t look confident at all. He wasn’t even close.

        • Ted Nelson

          Curtis Granderson had 8 3K games last season… he’s still a good CF. Cespedes is not a contact hitter. Certainly this wasn’t a good game, but it’s one game. Way too small a sample to start making judgments on anything.

          His second PA was 3 straight FB strikes… guess he can’t hit FBs either…

    • bonestock94

      bust

    • Monteroisdinero

      He can only redeem himself by jumping completely over the outfield wall, clearing it by 10 feet and hauling in a HR.

      Well within his athletic abilities.

      Frog jumps at the beach do not lie.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        Remember, if the Yanks don’t sign him, the season is a total waste and they’re a bunch of cheap bastards doomed to last place.

        They were also mean to Nakajima.

        • Foghorn Leghorn

          and, if the Red Sox sign him its yet another terrific move by Cherington!

          • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

            Five years? Bargain!

    • Sean C

      Your argument is completely overwhelming.

  • Plank
    • Jesse

      How much less could they care?

  • BK2ATL

    The only way he touches the ball at bat is if they hit him with it.

    /#cespedesbust

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      The only way he touches the ball will be if Vicente Padilla hits him with it.

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        he couldn’t hit an elephant’s ass with a banjo!