A Baseball Weblog

Monday, August 23, 2010

Welcome, Ivan Nova

The Yankees called up Ivan Nova over the weekend and will give him the start against the Blue Jays later today. He was up with the big club back in May, but he only pitched three relief innings over two games. Just a bit of background on Nova ...
He was born in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in 1987, and was signed by the Yankees in 2004. He's been solid throughout his minor league career, and has never reached Baseball America's list of Top 10 Yankees prospects. He's billed as a guy who works down in the zone with plus velocity, sometimes reaching as high as 97 mph. Here are some results from the minors:

2006Rk43 2.723.737.532.09.443
2007A99 1/34.984.284.893.35.472
2008A+148 2/34.363.336.603.21.507
2009AA-AAA139 1/33.683.945.814.13.544

MiL575 1/33.803.726.323.33.508

About Nova and the starting situation, Girardi had this to say: "The greatest problem to have would be if he pitches extremely well on Monday." This is true in that it is both a problem that many teams would want, and also one that Girardi's going to have to give some serious thought to. Let's say Nova pitches very well today. I think it would be pretty difficult for the Yankees to not give him another shot, given how A.J. Burnett and especially Javier Vazquez have been pitching recently. But would that mean that Vazquez is just gone from the rotation? Does he go to the bullpen? Is it logical to put Nova in the rotation based on one (hypothetical!) good start? This is something for Girardi and the Yankees to figure out.

Data are from Fangraphs and Minor League Splits.

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