Nova working on new arm action in camp

Cervelli's throwing stands out early in camp
Open Thread: 3/4 Camp Notes

Via George King: Ivan Nova has been working on a new, shorter arm action early in camp as he hopes to move beyond his struggles from last summer. “It was something we worked on before Spring Training,” said pitching coach Larry Rothschild. “He actually had done it with his curveball a lot. That made it a little bit easier to introduce.”

Nova, 26, looked very sharp in his Grapefruit League debut over the week, specifically because he was pounding the bottom of the zone (22 of 27 pitches were strikes). His improved strikeout and walk rates were very encouraging last year, but it seemed like every mistake pitch he made was clobbered for extra bases. That needs to be fixed. “New pitching mechanics” stories are on par with “best shape of his life” stories this time of year, so we’re going to need to see a lot more before we can declare Nova cured of whatever ailed him in the second half. This weekend’s performance was encouraging and it’s good to know there’s some work going on behind the scenes.

Cervelli's throwing stands out early in camp
Open Thread: 3/4 Camp Notes
  • Mike Eder

    Shameless self promotion, but I covered Nova’s new mechanics this afternoon. You can watch a GIF showing the difference between his last start of 2012 and Saturday’s debut. It’s the matter of 1/10th of a second faster (3 frames), but that could mean a lot in terms of pitching. Here’s a direct link to the GIF.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Excellent write-ups by BOTH Mikes here.

    • MannyGeee

      Great link! Maybe I am drunk, but I can see the difference. Particularly in his shoulder not flying open as much this spring.

      • Mike Eder

        Thanks guys, and yea I think his arm slot looks slightly lower. I really want to see his next start and some PITCHf/x data eventually. A lower slot would give him more sinking action and more movement into right handed hitters. Could be why he’s getting so many ground balls now.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I can’t think of many more beautiful sights this season than a consistently effective Ivan Nova. Let’s hope this is something he can repeat throughout the season.

  • Havok9120

    This would be huge if Nova can make it stick. It’ll take awhile to convince me, but it is nice to know that if his performance does improve there’ll be a tangible reason for it.

  • TRR

    Amen to that..we gotta have pitching this year

    • novas pork sammy

      Amen to that..we gotta have biscuits this year

      • Nova’s Pork Sammy w/extra Mustelier

        Amen to that…we gotta have biscuits and gravy this year.

  • trr

    Amen to that! we gotta have pitching thtis year!

  • trr

    Amen to that! we gotta have pitching this year!

    • Havok9120

      I get the impression that you believe we need the pitching to be pretty good this season.

      Am I way off base?

      • JMK

        You crazay!

  • Dalek Jeter

    “I feel great. Best shape of my life. We’ve done a lot this off season, worked on tweaking my delivery a bit, worked on a new change-up grip. I feel like it’s going to be an awesome season.”-Every league average pitcher ever.

    • Barry’s Gift Basket

      Hah yeah, but what can we expect them to say?

      “Yeah, I hope I don’t suck this year.”

      • MannyGeee

        I would applaud the honesty. If nothing else, he would be miles ahead of IPK in terms of humility.

  • Blake

    If he can do it and keep his stuff then it could help….it was pretty clear that a couple of Nova’s issues last year were command and lack of deception…..guys clearly saw the ball out of his hand well as any fastball (even at 95 mph) up was just hammered.

    Shortening up a but could give hitters a little less time to see the ball and also help him repeat a bit better which could help to some degree in both those areas……he looked darn good in his first outing.

  • thevoiceofirrationalrationale

    Pitching and defense is key for mlb clubs, but might be ever more important for us this year. IMO, our pitching is very good, or at least solid. Defense should be good other than left side of infield (depending on Youks health and Nunez’ nerves). Hold the fort until our (gulp) 30mm dollar DH makes it back.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    Never understood the lack of excitement regarding Nova.
    He’s got great velocity, good K rate, continues to lower his walk rates and he is still very young with a great pitchers build.
    I think he’s got the makings to be a good #2 starter