Ivan Nova has no idea what’s next. He’s going to start tonight’s game in Chicago, and then… who knows? The Yankees could give him another start in the big leagues. They could move him to the bullpen. They could ship him back to Triple-A.
It’s just a day in the life of a Yankees rookie.
“I love too much this game to have pressure on myself,” Nova said. “If it’s last year, I’m not going to tell you I didn’t have a little bit of pressure at the beginning, but I’m relaxed (this year). I’m enjoying the stay here, and I love too much the game to put pressure on myself. Pressure’s not good for anybody, so I’m relaxed.”
With Nova, you actually believe that a little bit. I’m sure he’s feeling the pressure to some extent, but he does have that always-smiling, happy-to-be-here attitude. He actually seemed more tense during that half season I covered him in the minors than he’s been this season.
Left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft just three years ago, Nova’s now such a prized commodity that the Yankees didn’t want to lose him at the trade deadline. He clearly has a future with this organization. It’s his present role that remains unclear to everyone, including Nova himself.
“This start is like any other start for me,” Nova said. “I just have to go out there and try to do my job, concentrate on what I have to do. I don’t have to worry nothing about what’s going on outside of my job… If you don’t do your job, bad things are going to happen. If you do your job, you can’t control nothing outside of the game. I know there are a lot of decisions that have to be made, but I just gotta stay focused and do my job.”
Here’s Nova, speaking before last night’s game.