Yankees will skip Ivan Nova following rain out


The Yankees will skip Ivan Nova‘s turn through the rotation following last night’s rain out, Joe Girardi confirmed. Phil Hughes will start tonight as scheduled — stomach bug and weather permitting — and Nova will instead get the ball in five days.

I hope the Yankees will take this opportunity to split up Hughes and Nova in the rotation, just for the sake of easing the load on the bullpen down the road. Those two back-to-back could create some headaches. Even if they don’t do that, skipping Nova completely sure seems to indicate the team doesn’t have much faith in him in the moment. Perhaps he and pitching coach Larry Rothschild are working on something on the side, but this doesn’t look like vote of confidence in the young right-hander. Hard to say it’s undeserved.

Categories : Asides, Pitching


  1. trr says:

    Split up Hughes + Nova?
    Great idea!
    It is too much strain on this bullpen having them go back to back

  2. Mickey Scheister says:

    Demote Nova and have Phelps or Nuno take the ball every five days. Nova is hard to watch, so much “stuff” but it doesn’t translate into success very well. I wonder how long of a leash they give Nova this year.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I could see it happening for Phelps. I don’t see anyone getting DFA’d at the moment to add Nuno to the 40-man, at least not yet. We’re still not out of 40-man Crazyville.

      As for what sort of leash he gets, I actually don’t think it’s very long.

    • Mike HC says:

      It depends on how bad it gets. I would guess about 6-7 starts. I’m not giving up on Nova yet though as the 5th man.

  3. Dave says:

    If you want to truly split Hughes and Nova up wouldn’t you want to start Nova after April 16 (because Hughes would then go April 17). You don’t have an off day in the middle, so even if you skip Nova twice, you wind up with Hughes and Nova back to back. You’d need to give CC, Hirok or Andy an extra day off to do that (wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world).

  4. CS Yankee says:

    Don’t think they can or should realign the rotation.

    SP #1-3 are solid, and like batters getting more AB’s higher in the order, should not be skipped. This just correctly aligns the plan from ST whereas Hughes is the #4 SP, Nova the #5.

    Plus, one of the big three will most likely serve some time on the DL anyways so I wouldn’t be too concerned with having two so-so’s back-to-back as it has been that way for almost every team forever.

    The only safe bet is to pitch the studs as often as you can without taxing them and since they are just being stretched out i wouldn’t mess with it.

    • hogsmog says:

      I don’t think the comparison to a batting order is a good one. If, say, a batting order picked up where it left off in the previous game instead of starting with a fresh leadoff hitter (ie, Cano strikes out to end last night’s game, and today Youkilis hits first), the concept of higher or lower in the order wouldn’t exist.

      It’s easy to see that if batting orders worked this way, sequence would be much more important than an arbitrary number assigned to you on opening day. This is essentially how pitching rotations work, and also why many people think calling someone, for example, “a number three starter” has less to do with whether or not they pitched the third game of the season than that they are about the third best pitcher on the team.

  5. Electric Nunez ll says:

    “Hard to say its undeserved.”-

    I agree, one whole start should be all he gets to prove himself. Maybe outright release the guy.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      The truth lies somewhere in between this and “HE HAZ BEEN TEH SUCK ALL ALONG.”

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Well, I’ve been beating the “Nova really isn’t that good” drum since last offseason, so I’ll go with option B.

        It’s almost like the 5.5 years he spent being mediocre in the minor leagues and his first MLB stint were more representative of his true talent level than an extended hot streak at the end of 2011.

        • Stan the Man says:

          Nova hatred is a tad overblown. The guy has the ability and certainly has his bouts of inconsistency much like Hughes who seemingly always gets a pass despite the fact that Nova has better overall stuff.

    • Bob Buttons says:

      Yeah! Who is crazy enough to think 2012 happened?!

  6. mitch says:

    I’d give Nova at least a handful of starts to prove himself, but i don’t think a trip to AAA is out of the question. It worked well a couple years ago, and judging from some of his overly-positve comments, he might benefit from a reality check.

    • Bubba says:

      Gotta agree with this. Confidence is important for any athlete but I’m not sure how much delusion helps.

    • Mike HC says:

      If he really can’t the job done as a starter this year, not sure how much the Yanks would trust him in the future anyway. Moving him to the pen might not be the worst idea in order to maximize his value while under team control.

  7. Releasing Nova would be crazy. He may be a head case, but he is still very talented. I would rather see him go to AAA or the bullpen. I really don’t want to see another IPK or Tyler Clippard.

  8. Frank says:

    Nova or Hughes. Is there really much difference? Even throwing Phelps in the mix. You’re still left with 3 mediocre pitchers who on occasion surprise you with a decent performance.

    • Bob Buttons says:

      One is a relatively young guy, an obscure prospect who had an extended streak of ok-ness in the majors, but really stinks outside of that one (long) stretch. One is a guy who’s hitting FA this year and have been inconsistent year in and year out after being a top prospect. A third is a guy who has shown some promise but never prolonged success due to his short stay, a middle of the road guy from day 1.

      Yes, I’d say a lot of difference.

      • Slu says:

        Except pedigree doesn’t matter. Only results.

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          And Nova has had not quite mediocre results for 6.5 out of the 7 years he’s been in the organization.

        • Bob Buttons says:

          Actually pedigree matters. Different between, say, Aaron Boone’s dad’s advice vs Colby Rasmus’ dad’s advice.

          If you are a highly touted prospect you probably flashed some potential and people see a lot of things in you, so they’d give you more chances to show them what you got. If you’re a no-name out of middle-of-nowhere you probably don’t get as many chances.

          There’s a reason “baseball family” is mentioned often when talking about new draftees.

    • mitch says:

      Hughes is a notch above the other two. He’s a former top prospect, and has already put together 2 really solid seasons as a starter and another as a reliever. If he stays healthy, he’s definitely a capable of being a #3.

      I like Phelps, but I don’t see him ever becoming more than a #5 starter or versatile reliever.

      Who knows what will become of Nova? I wouldn’t be surprised if he became a #3, but also wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to struggle and never helps the team again.

  9. JonS says:

    Pitch Nova out of the bullpen in the next few days to see how he does. Then you can accurately compare Nova and Phelps.

  10. Rooting for U.S. Steel says:

    I wonder if Nova’s growing reputation as a retaliatory headhunter might have had something to with skipping him in the same series after Youk got hit. I realize that starting beaning wars isn’t the Yankee way, but Nova hasn’t been shy about pitching up and in when he feels he needs to defend his teammates.

    • Stan the Man says:

      Nova to my recollection hasn’t done anything as ridiculous as what Carrasco did the other night. He threw up and in to Bautista his rookie year, but does that alone make him have a growing reputation?

      • Rooting for U.S. Steel says:

        I may have to walk this back: My perception of him — and I actually hug him as a developing pitcher — is as someone who has hit his share and then some — but that may have been wildness.

        His willingness to retaliate is stuck in my head as part of his personality, and I know he hit his share last year… but few instances are coming to mind. So perhaps the reputation’s just in my head… and that’s where it should stay.

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