The greatest downside to keeping Ivan Nova on the big league roster seemed to be the loss of immediate pitching depth.
Optioning Nova to Triple-A would mean keeping all four candidates, and having Nova to replace an injured to ineffective starter. Keeping Nova in New York would mean losing one of the other candidates, leaving no experienced replacement waiting in Scranton.
That depth issue might have subsided this morning with Jon Heyman’s report that Kevin Millwood has agreed to a minor league deal.
With Millwood, the Yankees will have another Freddy Garcia-type waiting in Triple-A. He’s not flashy, and he’s no longer a front of the rotation type, but the Yankees can count on him for innings and they know the bright lights won’t faze him. If the young starters in Triple-A get off to slow starts, Millwood would be a reasonable alternative.
For those of us who enjoy minor league speculation, though, this does nothing to clear up an already cloudy Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pitching staff. By my count, the Yankees have 97 pitchers for 13 spots in Triple-A. Maybe it’s not quite that many, but it’s a lot.