Spring Training Game Thread: Ivan’s Debut



Ivan Nova will make his Grapefruit League debut against the Tigers this afternoon, his first real step towards showing the second half of last year was an injury-hampered — remember he missed three weeks with a sore shoulder — fluke and not an indication of his MLB production going forward. We saw how good Nova can be during the second half of 2011, and that’s the guy the Yankees are looking to stick at the back of their rotation this year.

As you surely know by now, Ivan’s strikeout and walk rates took major steps forward last summer despite the disappointing year. He needs to work on his overall command and keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate, the main reason he led the league in extra-base hits allowed despite only throwing 170.1 innings. The first Spring Training outings tells us very little, but it sure would be nice to not see Nova get smacked around again. Here’s the starting line…

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. 3B Kevin Youkilis
  6. DH Travis Hafner
  7. LF Matt Diaz
  8. SS Jayson Nix
  9. C Chris Stewart

And on the mound is the right-hander from San Cristobal, Ivan Nova. Here is the day’s second string, courtesy of Chad Jennings.

Available Pitchers: LHP Clay Rapada, RHP David Aardsma, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP Mark Montgomery, RHP Matt Daley, and LHP Francisco Rondon will all come out of the bullpen.

Available Position Players: C Kyle Higashioka, 1B Luke Murton, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Gil Velazquez, 3B Dan Johnson, LF Ramon Flores, CF Adonis Garcia, RF Tyler Austin, and DH Francisco Arcia are all coming off the bench.

Today’s game is scheduled to start a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on YES and (no local blackout). Enjoy.


  1. Havok9120 says:

    The MLB lineup minus Jeter, an MLB starter, and a bullpen group that isn’t a complete joke.

    Let us snap the losing streak before the press tour starts in earnest.

  2. trr says:

    as I’m home, and all chores are done, I believe I’ll settle back and watch me some Yankee baseball…hey, they can’t lose 8 in a row…can they?

  3. Chip says:

    You know whats scary? This could absolutely be our opening day lineup (ok put in Nunez for Nix and assume Jeter can’t start the season) and that fact alone scares me. I see maaaaaaybe 150 homeruns from the lineup if you squint really hard. Also, check out the black hole at the bottom.

    • Guns says:

      It’s downright horrifying. Add in some negative (if not probable) scenarios, like if 38-year-old Jeter reverts to 2010, 2011 form and Youkilis doesn’t have a bounce-back year despite what a gritty, gutty gamer he is. That could be a rough lineup… especially power-wise until Grandy comes back.

    • commerce says:

      Chip, don’t have to squint hard–assuming we saw the lineup today starting (except) sub in JRivera for Diaz; bench becomes Cervelli, Nunez, Jeter, and Granderson…then discount 1/3 of Jeter and Granderson due to injuries in relation to their career HR/162 games. Leave AlexR out altogether for 2013. Using HR/162 in career for the remaining 23 position players, this crew would mathematically generate 209 HRs. Since no player will play in 162 games (probably), it is reasonable to discount the 209 total by 20%. Look for this group to hit around 170 HR.

      A final point, the World Championship SF Giants hit 103 HRs in 2012 and their opponents, the ALCS Champion Tigers hit 163. The last two standing in 2012 were 30th and 16th in MLB HR rankings!

      If this team doesn’t hit and run and pitch and defend, then they will be unsuccessful–the HRs are just a piece of the action.

  4. Jersey Joe says:

    Jayson Nix is definitely going to start the year on the team, right?

  5. Jersey Joe says:

    I’ve said this a million times, but Dan Johnson must be getting reps in LF.

    I like what Juan Rivera has to offer, but ST is nothing. Anyway, we would need him coming off the bench to sub for Gardner or Ichiro vs. lefties, not to mention splitting time with Hafner at DH.

    As much as seeing Mesa or Zolio defeat Diaz for that extra spot, we need lefty power in Grandy’s absence.


  6. Jersey Joe says:

    Just saw on MLBTR that Michael Wuertz was just given an invite. Even after 2011′s bad year, I’m surprised a reliever with a 3.71 career ERA couldn’t get back to the bigs. Hm.

  7. Jersey Joe says:

    Where are the commenters?

  8. Chip says:

    Brett Gardner 2013 AL MVP

  9. Havok9120 says:

    Now that was pretty much a classic Gardner AB.

  10. Stratman9652 says:

    This is possibly the driest booth in all of broadcasting.

  11. Havok9120 says:

    “The situational hitting needs to be perfect to take advantage of the situations presented to the club.”

    Right you are, Flash. Right you are.

    • Jersey Joe says:

      I feel like he doesn’t need to address the casual fans, if it’s ST and we are on a 7 game losing streak. Nobody is watching unless they are true fans.

  12. Chip says:

    Yep, that was way more exciting than a solo homerun

    • Havok9120 says:

      Yeah, that’s my thing. I mean, even if the run had gotten home, is the single to left- stolen base- sack fly- run scores on fielders choice route more dependable or more exciting than if Tex had just jerked one over the wall?

      • forensic says:

        I don’t care how exciting it is. If they get the job done, that’s all that really matters to me in the end.

        It is kind of ironic, though, that you guys are complaining about the lack of homerun power during the AB’s of their two most powerful healthy bats, neither of whom could get the ball out of the infield.

        If they get plenty of guys over to 3rd with less than 2 outs (or even with 2 outs), they’ll still score runs without waiting for the much lower percentage homerun play.

        • Havok9120 says:

          Oh, no. I’m not complaining about that series. Tex hit that pretty hard and even Cano’s could have snuck through pretty easily. As long as they’re scoring runs, I don’t give a crap.

          But the large group of people saying it’s more exciting to watch and/or a more reliable way to score runs just seem misguided to me. I don’t see the logic of the latter and the former I’m not subjectively convinced of.

          • Chip says:

            That was my point too. All the people that were complaining about how Granderson isn’t useful because he strikes out a lot just amaze me. They’re about to get their wish with more contact hitters in the lineup and I don’t think they’ll like it

            • forensic says:

              Personally, I think he’s a bit overrated but it’s not that he’s not useful. It’s just that his useful time are very few and far between since 1/3rd of his AB’s have no chance to impact baserunners and even when it is in play his low average leads you to him not always having hard contact, which is also pretty useless.

              Add in his horrible defense and now invisible baserunning and his random homerun AB’s lose a ton of value to the totality of the rest of his game.

      • commerce says:

        Teams that hit .280, have a high OBP, put runners in motion, work counts, are very disturbing to the pitcher/defense. Death by a 1,000 cuts. It has been a long time since we wore pitchers down and proved pesky on the bases. Our phenomenal HR rate has carried our offense since the passage of Tino and Paul–but we only have one championship since they left in ’01. The ’96–’01 Yankees were a pain in the ass to pitching staffs–even in postseason. Remember winning 14 straight World Series games?

        • vicki says:

          despite all the smart stuff you say, i think it’s unfair to say it’s “been a long time since we wore pitchers down.” last season, without ggbg, we had swish, grandy* and teix seeing over 4p/pa, the former two ranking top ten in the league (qualified). more than fair point about the pesky on the bases thing though.

          *it does take at least three pitches to strike out.

  13. Havok9120 says:

    Wow. Those were a couple of good plays there by the Tigers.

  14. Jersey Joe says:

    I would say Flash and Bob are probably the most boring….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  15. Chip says:

    Wow, the Tigers could be scary good this season

    • mac says:

      Yeah, the projected lineup and rotation looks powerful. They have alot in the pen with the poss exception of a closer.

  16. Havok9120 says:

    It’s going to be a good day for baseball when producers figure out that there’s plenty of room underneath that rotation graph for all of W/L Record, ERA, AND FIP.

  17. gageagainstthemachine says:

    Can’t wait to see some “hot .gif on .gif action” from this game! Oh yeah!

  18. forensic says:

    Nice to see Nova look solid for his 2 innings, even if it’s not exactly Fielder/Cabrera facing him.

  19. Havok9120 says:

    Dang, Ivan. Looking good.

  20. forensic says:

    Definitely a smart move by Mesa to skip the WBC, but I’m still just not sold he’ll make nearly enough contact in the majors to really be helpful. It’s tough to balance that with some extra speed and defense in contrast to maybe Almonte or Mustelier.

    • Havok9120 says:

      I’m sold on Mesa > FHFRM, at least to start. I’ll take the multifaceted guy over another all-bat type. But I see no reason to give Mesa more than 2-4 weeks worth of leash if he just can’t handle the contact side of things and RM is raking in AAA. We can always find RM a roster spot and play the Scranton Shuttle Game every 10 days.

      • forensic says:

        Yeah, I could deal with seeing him for a couple weeks, but still not quite sure. Especially when people push for both Mesa and Almonte to go north with the team. That’s just too much. I could go for either one of them with someone like Mustelier or Nunez, if he’s not already on the roster. And though he’s looked kind of bad so far, I’m kind of curious to see Diaz over the next couple weeks to see if he’s got anything left (not much interest in Rivera).

        • Havok9120 says:

          I’m about where you are. I want one of Mesa/Almonte and one of RM, Diaz, and Rivera. I prefer Diaz to Rivera and it might be possible to convince me that RM should be competing for the Mesa/Almonte slot, but I doubt it.

          And yeah, I’m just assuming Nunez heads north already. Nix, too. I’d love to see CoJo or Adams shock the world and wind up with Nix’s spot, but given the plans they’ve laid out for Nunez and the way they’re talking about Jeter, I have to think Nunez is in no matter what.

          • forensic says:

            I’m with you on a lot of that, but unfortunately I don’t think Nunez will be going north unless something unforeseen happens. I think they’re way too hooked on Nix and will add him to the 40-man, take him north, and keep Nunez in AAA again (again, barring something happening that slows Jeter down).

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (mostly hitting) says:

              So who gets the last roster spot in that scenario?
              I was thinking they’d likely carry 2 BUIF and only 1 BUOF, with Nix and Nunez being the frontrunners for the BUIF spots (with CoJo or Johnson being possible if the Yankees actually think either could handle third).

              • forensic says:

                It’s possible, but I’m not so sure. I think with the Grandy injury and the likelihood of there being a huge question mark in LF that they might be more likely to bring 2 OFer’s and one IFer. Of course, this is part of why I would give Mustelier a shot since he at least has experience standing at 2 of the IF positions.

                Given the choice between Mustelier and Nunez, I’d certainly take Nunez, but I’m not sure they’d let him go anywhere but SS, even though that clearly hasn’t been his issue.

            • Havok9120 says:

              I’m pretty sure they had room for both of them plus one of Diaz/Rivera even before Granderson got hurt. Or are they going with a 13 pitchers? I always forget.

              • forensic says:

                There are so many different possibilities right now, it’s hard to really narrow it down to one or two.

                Hell, given their love of old guys, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they brought both Rivera and Diaz north until Grandy is healthy, which would leave only one more spot (I believe, assuming Nix is also going).

                • Nice Guy Eddie says:

                  I still think that they’ll make some sort of move at the end of spring to address the Grandy situation. There are sure to be guys that are DFA’d by other teams that are way better options than what the Yankees have at the moment.

  21. forensic says:


    Where was the homerun??? ;-)

  22. Havok9120 says:

    Shawn Kelley should get into the game today. Will this be the first time we’ve seen him? That’d be cool.

  23. Winter says:

    I’m only on gameday, but was that at bat as bad as it looked?

    • Havok9120 says:

      Diaz? The last strike was borderline. The only part of it that looked terrible was the huuuge wiff he had for the second strike. I thought he might corkscrew into the ground.

  24. Stratman9652 says:

    Since when is Kevin Russo a tiger?

  25. forensic says:

    Who says there’s no power on this team?????

  26. Need Pitching & Hitting (mostly hitting) says:

    Did Flaherty really just say Stewart swung the bat great last year?

    • Stratman9652 says:

      Compared to how Flash could swing a bat, yeah, he swung it great.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (mostly hitting) says:

        Stewart was even worse.
        Flash career: 252/290/377, 71 wRC+
        Stewart last year: 241/292/319, 65 wRC+

        • Havok9120 says:

          Stewart’s season is gonna be lodged in my head for awhile because he kept each segment of his triple slash identical for longer than I’ve ever seen a player manage.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Yeah, that had me giggling.

    • Hey Now says:

      Flaherty is as vanilla as they come. He never has anything negative to say.

      A guy could bounce into a game-ending DP and Flaherty would say, “I thought he put a nice swing on the ball.”

  27. Winter says:

    For everyone saying there isn’t enough power in our lineup, I present the 2013 AL home rune king-to-be Chris Stewart.

  28. Havok9120 says:


    GONE! Wind was blowing in the other direction too.

  29. Wayne says:

    When is José Ramírez going to pitch again?

  30. Havok9120 says:

    Richard Gere just chillin’ with his sons.

  31. Havok9120 says:

    Oh, ho. You’ll enjoy a nice BRRRUNCH, will you? Perhaps with some custard and jam? Eh? EH?

    My God. This booth.

  32. Stratman9652 says:

    Quit staring at Meridith’s boobs Ivan.

    • Havok9120 says:

      The camera originally cut to him while he appeared to be picking his nose, so I suppose ogling the interviewer is a step in the right direction.

  33. Havok9120 says:

    This Matt Daley guy that I’ve never heard of had a very nice inning.

  34. Stratman9652 says:

    Flash’s man crush on Chris Stewart is getting a little excessive.

  35. Nice Guy Eddie says:

    Having Flash on the broadcast does nothing but conjure up images the big unit and his sweatsuit

  36. Havok9120 says:

    “Tyler Austin delivering a….touchdown? Eh? EHH?”

    Holy crap.

  37. Need Pitching & Hitting (mostly hitting) says:

    I see why Dan Johnson doesn’t play 3rd much.

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