What Can the Yankees Do With Ivan Nova?

I and everybody else in the Yankees blogosphere have written plenty this season about Ivan Nova’s struggles.  Everybody knows the reasons at this point. He can’t locate any of his pitches consistently, he is not getting back to trying to get ground balls as opposed to strikeouts, and his attitude at times has been in question. Nova has been by far the worst Yankees starter this season and has been consistently miserable besides in the month of June. Nova now owns a 4.92 ERA and continues to lead MLB in extra-base hits allowed after yesterdays latest disaster in Chicago. The question at this point is what can the Yankees do? With the division lead down to four games they need to be more proactive.

Mercifully, CC Sabathia is scheduled to return on Friday, which should help bring better consistency back to the rotation. What might seem obvious to everybody is to insert David Phelps into the rotation for Nova. Phelps has been great this year in any role the Yankees have asked him to play, as he has a 2.69 ERA. However, the problem with inserting Phelps into the rotation is that Nova is unlikely to help you in the bullpen, and the Yankees really need help there as well. With Joba Chamberlian’s struggles the Yankees have nobody in their pen they can really count on outside of David Robertson and Rafael Soriano. Boone Logan has a 7.43 ERA for almost two months now, Cody Eppley has 5.40 ERA in August, and Derek Lowe probably came back down to earth in his last outing. The bullpen has had two major implosions over the last two weeks to cost the Yankees wins.                                                                                      

Sabathia coming back on Friday combined with tomorrow’s off day gives the Yankees a chance to skip Nova’s turn and let Phelps make another start. They could even skip him twice with an off day next week if they felt he needed more tutoring. They could then return Phelps to the bullpen for the stretch run where he will be needed, especially for the postseason. A playoff rotation of Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes is very solid. Phelps would be of much better use in the bullpen, as he could get high leverage outs later in games or come on early in the game if a starting pitcher struggles. But for now it makes sense for Phelps to stay in the rotation for another turn or two while they try to fix Nova.

About Matthew B

I am a student at William Paterson University and studying to become a sportswriter. I have a huge passion for the Yankees and love sharing my opinions on them. I can analyze every aspect of the Yankees very well. I am very active on Twitter so feel free to contact me there Twitter: @RAYROBERT9

Posted on August 22, 2012, in Personal Opinion and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Do you think Ken OR Would want to bring back Clemens for a Yankee playoff game if he pitches well in his comeback?

  2. Jeez…..Cano has just been awful for weeks now. what is up with him? Ever since Melky got caught…

    • Yeah Twasp….Cano lookis lost right now. It all started when he missed the 2 games with what they called a stiff neck. he is 3 for 32 (.094 BA) with 1 extra base hit and 2 RBI in his last 10 games. Considering Jeter and Swish have constantly been on base in front of him. They need him to get it back together because when he gets hot he can lead the team all by himself.

  3. I think this decision was just made for them. Girardi just said on the Francesca Show that Nova felt some discomfort in his Shoulder last night and will definitely miss at least 1 start. They haven’t determined whether he will go on the DL yet.

    If the injury is serious I’d be a bit surprised because he was throwing harder yesterday then he had all year, consistently 94 and often 95-96. His problem continues to be lack of command. His Fastball was tough when he threw it down in the Zone but he gave up at least 3 extra base hits on fastballs that were belt-high or higher. He’s had a terrible year and badly needs to some guidance. last yr he was a GB pitcher but this yr he has tried to be more than that and it has led to a disastorous season.

  4. Too bad…I actually thought Nova looked great in some of the games I watched him pitch.

    Seemed like a big diff in the games he lost was location……his ball used to tail down….but he left many pitches up when he got bombed.

  5. Francesa is a pompous a**

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