Browsing Posts tagged Ivan Nova

There’s no denying that the Yankees need to add impact starting pitching. The 2014 Yankee rotation will be led by Hiroki Kuroda, CC Sabathia, and Ivan Nova, which isn’t enough to withstand the grind of a 162 game season. To fill out their rotation, the Yankees could turn to either the free agent market or pick from uninspiring internal options. The Yankees are obviously interested in Japanese RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who may or may not be posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. Changes in the posting system, namely capping the maximum posting bid at $20 million, have made Rakuten rethink posting Tanaka. In fact, Rakuten has made Tanaka a generous contract offer in hopes of keeping its ace. 

Given the uncertainty surrounding Tanaka’s posting status, this year’s free agent starting pitching market hasn’t taken shape. This year’s ‘Top’ remaining free agent pitching options include Ervin Santana, Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, AJ Burnett, and Bronson Arroyo. All five of these pitchers have obvious blemishes and would not provide more than a middling middle of the rotation option. Next year, however, potentially presents one of the best free agent classes in recent memory. Of note, Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer could hit the open market. Established AL East options should as Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, Jake Peavy, and James Shields will be available. Finally, a few decent options from the NL Central, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, and Yovani Gallardo will also be available. 

In Part I of this article, we’ll breakdown each of the available 2014 free agent options to see whether or not they’re a fit for the Yankees. Part II will address the 2015 free agent class. More after the jump..

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The bats carried CC Sabathia to a 8-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Ivan Nova (7-4, 3.14 ERA) will be looking for similar support. After a dismal 2012 campaign, Nova has reinvented himself and learned how to become more of a strikeout artist. Nova has struck out 22 percent of batters faced compared to just 14 percent in 2010. Nova has won three of his last five starts while allowing just one home run. Nova has had some success against the Orioles, tossing a complete game, 11 strikeout performance on July 5th. 

The Orioles will counter Nova with RHP Scott Feldman (11-9, 3.87 ERA). Since coming over from Chicago, Feldman is 4-3 with a 4.56 ERA. Feldman has failed to worked past the 6th inning in his last three starts. Feldman has not pitched well in Yankee Stadium. His 5.52 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in just 14.2 innings should give Buck Showalter pause.

Pick: The Yankees are installed a small -120 favorite, so we’re going to take them. The Yankees abused Miguel Gonzalez in the fifth inning, so I’m expecting that momentum to carry over to today.  Nova has pitched well recently, so give him the edge over Feldman. 

Going into 2012, the Yankees had the fourth and fifth place finishers in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda entered Spring Training as promising, cost-effective solutions for the suddenly frugal Bombers. However, Pineda suffered a shoulder injury and missed the entire season. Nova, who posted an impressive 16 win, 3.70 ERA rookie campaign, was terrible in 2012, turning in an ugly 5.02 ERA in 28 starts. Nova did not make the post-season roster and many began writing him off.

Still, the 25-year-old Nova has the makings of dependable starter. Nova’s fastball consistently sits around 93-94 MPH and his slider makes for an effective out pitch. From 2011 to 2012, Nova’s strikeout total jumped from 98 to 153. Typically, most young power pitchers need a few seasons before putting up large strikeout totals. However, Nova began overcompensating for his newfound strikeout ability by leaving pitches up in the zone. Nova’s home run output doubled, 13 to 28, but his walk rate largely remained the same. Injuries may have played a factor in Nova’s disappointing 2012 campaign. Nova missed nearly a month with shoulder soreness, but we don’t know how long he pitched with the pain.

In short, Nova has shown he can be a #2 starter. During 2011, the Yankees rewarded Nova with post-season starts.  Nova has a plus fastball and showed the ability to miss bats at an above average rate. If Nova can keep the ball down and sacrifice some strikeouts, his ERA and win output will rebound. Nova will likely enter Spring Training as the Yankees’ #5 starter, so he’ll have time to assimilate into the rotation. Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda are probably in their last seasons, so Nova needs to correct his mistakes and become a major part of the Yankees rotation. I believe he’ll make the necessary adjustments and bounce back in 2013.

The Yankees head to the West Coast later this week to begin a four-game set in Oakland against the Athletics. No doubt it’ll be a tough series but New York’s excelling right now and should be a solid option with your free MLB picks.

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Entering this season, the Yankees had seven viable arms for only five rotation spots. After Michael Pineda’s injury, Freddy Garcia’s demotion, and the erratic pitching of Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees have some serious questions. Outside of CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova, the Yankees don’t have any reliable options. Andy Pettitte is a week or so away from joining the rotation, but through 21 games, the Yankees’ pre-season strength has now become a concern. Entering Monday, the Yankees are 12-9 and current sit 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the East. Granted, the Orioles seem to start strong every season, but Yanks need some quality starts this week. David Phelps is set to join the rotation and will make his first start on Thursday.  

With 141 games to go, the Yankees will find a happy medium with their rotation and the Yankee offense will help offset any poor starts. The Yankees are currently third in baseball with 112 runs scored and the offense will continue to be this team’s strength. We all know that championship aspirations live and die in the post-season and those post-season runs start and end with starting pitching. The Yankee rotation will take form as the season goes, but so far, this team’s strength is now an apparent weakness. 

Time is money. And Brian Cashman has all the time in the world to make the right move. Prior to trading for Michael Pineda, Cashman had the opportunity to sign CJ Wilson, bid for Yu Darvish, or trade for Ubaldo Jimenez, Gio Gonzlaez, or even Mat Latos. However, Cashman clearly didn’t like the associated cost. For some of these names, one could argue that the talent may be comparable, but in terms of player cost, there’s no comparison. More after the jump..

AP Photo

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It only took 28 hours to complete, but the Yankees blew the Tigers out, 9-3 in Game 1 of the ALDS. After the rain chased CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander last night, Ivan Nova and Doug Fister took the ball. The two righties battled before Robinson Cano got to Fister in the fifth with an RBI double. Cano would follow up with a grand slammer an inning later, giving the Bombers a 8-1 lead. Nova proved he could handle the big stage as the Yanks take a 1-0 lead in this best of five series.

See Ya---AP Photo

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In a day/night doubleheader against the heavily slumping Red Sox, the Yankees won 6-2 in game one and lost 7-4 in 14 innings in game two. With the Tampa Bay Ray win, they now hold a one game lead in the American League wild card standings as each team has three games left to play.

Jorge Gives Thanks - Nick Laham, Getty Images

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Ivan Nova continues to prove why he’ll take the ball in Game 2 of the ALDS. Tonight, Nova threw eight shutout innings against a desperate Tampa Bay who is clawing to get into the post-season propelling the Yanks to a 5-0 win. Nova scattered six hits en-route to nailing down his 16th win of the season. His season kind of reminds me of Phil Hughes last year, right? Curtis Granderson struck the big blow in the second inning with a three run double. He now has 119 RBIs on the season, tops in the AL. 

A Helluva Start

The Red Sox lost tonight (Yay) so the Yankees magic number falls to three. The Yankees magic number to clinch home field advantage is five, so expect a lot of clinching to happen this weekend against the Red Sox. It may even happen tomorrow night!

What’s Next?: How about two games tomorrow?! The Yankees will play Game 1 at 1:05 and Game 2 at 7:05. Time for Big C to get that elusive 20th win!

Game 1: James Shields (15-11, 2.78 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (5-5, 6.60 ERA)

Game 2: Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.91 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.01 ERA)

The Seattle Mariners defeated the New York Yankees early this morning 2-1 in the 12th inning. With the late loss, we unfortunately missed the opportunity to see Mariano Rivera tie Trevor Hoffman’s save record at 601. Still, the Red Sox and Rays lost, so the Yankees lose no ground in the standings.

Gold Glove? - AP

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