Last night, Ivan Nova proved he can pitch at the major league level. The guy was Rule 5 fodder a year and a half ago. Last night he was starting in the middle of a pennant race.
“He was good,” Joe Girardi said. “He was real good today I thought his changeup was good. I thought his fastball was really good today. He threw strikes… He didn’t panic (in the first inning). He continued to throw strikes. I thought he did a good job.”
That said, there’s no way of knowing what’s next for Nova. The Yankees haven’t promised another start. They haven’t promised a long-term role in the bullpen. They haven’t promised a major league job beyond last night.
At the very least, Nova seems worth a long look.
“It wasn’t like he was all over the place,” Mark Teixeira said. “He wasn’t walking guys. A lot of rookie pitchers come out and try to throw as hard as they can, and the ball’s everywhere. His command was great. He’s obviously got great stuff.”
Question is: What’s next? With Andy Pettitte on the disabled list, Phil Hughes pitching with an innings limit and Javier Vazquez struggling, there’s room for a guy like Nova. Expanded rosters are eight days away. Can the Yankees carry, basically, six starters until then? I have no idea. It would seem like a waste, but Nova also seems like a guy who could help.
“We liked what the kid did,” Girardi said.
It was hard not to
Associated Press photo