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Postgame notes: Nova dials in his best spring start

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 13, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Ivan Nova never seemed especially worried, but after two sloppy starts this spring, the time was right for him to finally have a good one. Tonight he finally found the strike zone and delivered four scoreless innings. He struck out the final two big league hitters he faced, getting Jacoby Ellsbury on an inside fastball and getting Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a slider.

“I just want to have good stuff,” Nova said. “Not only the good stuff, but when you don’t have the best stuff, you’ve got to pitch. That’s something I did today compared to what I did in Toronto the other day. I had the good stuff but I didn’t pitch. I think in Toronto I had (better) stuff than I had today … but I pitched, and that’s the difference.”

Nova has shown good fastball velocity and pretty good offspeed pitches all spring, the problem has been fastball command. Today, he had the command as well. He threw 55 pitches, 35 for strikes, and he consistently worked ahead in the count.

“I was more aggressive, let the hitters hit the ball,” Nova said. “I’ve got eight people behind me. You’ve got to pitch to contact, you’ve got to throw strikes. … I’m a really confident guy. It doesn’t matter if I pitch good or not, you’ve got to keep your head up (and) you’ve got to keep working. I knew that I would pitch good one day. You’ve got to look forward to the next start, and today I’m going to enjoy it, and get it behind me and wait for the next start.”

• Mariano Rivera laughed when asked if he’s ready for the season to begin. “Tomorrow,” he said. Essentially Rivera got four outs today, pitching around an error for a scoreless fifth inning. “You have to work, you know?” he said. “It’s not just go in there and do whatever you want, you have to work on your pitches and work that strike zone.”

• Rivera’s next outing will likely come either Friday or Saturday. At this point, it seems like he might pitch a little more than his usually eight or nine spring innings. “That’s alright as long as we get eight, nine,” Rivera said. “It will be enough.”

• Dave Robertson ran on an eliptical machine today and could do some light jogging on a treadmill tomorrow. Joe Girardi said there’s a chance Robertson could be on a mound by the weekend.

• The plan is for Eduardo Nunez to take the next three days off. Girardi said Nunez should need only a week to 10 days to be ready for the regular season. He wouldn’t need nearly as much time as Dave Robertson. “You would think that you could get him enough playing time,” Girardi said. “The great thing about minor-league games is you can get him 10 at-bats in one day if you wanted to. You can’t have a pitcher throw 10 innings in one day if they’re a one-inning guy. It’s different.”

• George Kontos came through today’s batting practice just fine, in fact, he was happy with his stuff and doesn’t feel like he lost much during his time off. He’s scheduled to get in a game on Friday.

• Asked which bullpen candidates have made a strong impression, Girardi seemed to be thinking along an obvious theme. “Our lefties have thrown the ball pretty decent,” he said. “(Clay) Rapada has thrown the ball pretty well, Juan (Cedeno) has thrown the ball pretty well, Cesar (Cabral) has thrown the ball pretty well. We think we’ve got some options if we decide to take another lefty. Time will tell.”

• Speaking of which: Another hitless inning for Boone Logan who’s looked really sharp this spring. He pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning against Aviles, Pedroia and Ellsbury. The only lefty he faced was Ellsbury, who struck out.

• Bernie Williams got here last night and was around all day today.

• Another nice outing for David Phelps, who took the loss despite five strikeouts in 2.2 innings. The only run of the game came on a single to right field, where Zoilo Almonte misplayed the ball, after which David Adams made a bad relay throw turning the single into an unearned run. It was a 1-0 Red Sox win because of that play.

• Rapada came in to face one batter, a lefty, and got him to ground out.

• Four hits for the Yankees: Russell Martin, Alex Rodriguez, Corban Joseph and Andruw Jones. All of them were singles.

• Girardi wouldn’t give a specific timetable for Dan Burawa’s return from a torn oblique, but it’s going to be much more than a couple of days. “It could be a while,” Girardi said. “I’m not sure. He hurt his side. I haven’t gotten a timetable. A lot of times ribcage injuries can be tough.”

Suzyn Waldman was profiled on the Baseball Hall of Fame website. The HOF is celebrating Women’s History Month.

• I’m sure I’ll do a full post on this tomorrow, but the Yankees announced today that individual game tickets will first be made available to the public through a MasterCard pre-on-sale online at and, and via Ticketmaster phone from March 22 at 10:00 a.m. until March 25 at 10:00 p.m. For those using other accepted methods of payment, the general public on-sale will begin on Tuesday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m. at and, and via Ticketmaster.

Associated Press photos





59 Responses to “Postgame notes: Nova dials in his best spring start”

  1. Bronx Jeers March 13th, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    The piece on Waldman said she was in “No,No, Nanette”

    Damn I didn’t know she was that old. :wink:

  2. ron March 13th, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    You have to be very carefull with trading pitchers like phelps,warren,mitchell,etc…

    Phelps stuff looks good,he is ready,and has 3 or more good pitches.
    You just never know where the next great pitcher is going to come from,or when.

    There is just something about phelps.

    Wouldn’t it also be sweet if bichette,m williams,and g sanchez lock down 3b,cf,c for years,while we get a few aces in betances,and banuelos???

  3. EA March 13th, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Phelps reminds me of a young Roy Oswalt

  4. Bronx Jeers March 13th, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    It’s starting to look like Bill Hall could make the club if Nunez’s hand keeps him from swinging the bat and I’m thinking the winner of Rapada vs Cabral is going to get that last spot in the pen at let until Joba comes back.

  5. ron March 13th, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Problem is,with hughes,nova,betances,banuelos,how does a phelps get a shot?

    Maybe if hughes,and or nova struggle,you give him that shot?

  6. Rich in NJ March 13th, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Waldman is like 66 or 67, and Sterling is like 70 something.

  7. Rich in NJ March 13th, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    “Problem is,with hughes,nova,betances,banuelos,how does a phelps get a shot?”

    Stuff usually happens.

  8. Cashmoney March 13th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    I think Manbam and Betance probably will season a tad longer in AAA. Warren and Phelps are the first two in line. like Rich said … it happens.

  9. Jerkface March 13th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I don’t think Betances & Banuelos get a call up this year. They need innings.

  10. Pat M. March 13th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Rich in NJ….Do you see Phelps as the club’s 7th starter on the depth chart ???? Or would Cashman view Betances as such ??? Clinging on with Iona, two huge comebacks tonight

  11. G. Love March 13th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Phelps had some serious presence out there. I liked what I saw of him. I liked how he went out there and just worked. What appeared natural with him mound presence wise reminded me of what Hughes looks like when he’s trying to too hard on the mound.

    Nova is going to be fine. He’s going to be a horse in this rotation for quite some time. Other guys are always going to be more heralded for their ceilings and stuff, but I just have this sneaking feeling Nova is going to be the glue here in the rotation.

    I still don’t think we have our DH yet. Unless Chavez proves durable somehow and Arod parks his lounge chair at the DH spot.

  12. Rich in NJ March 13th, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Phelps, Pat. Betances, like Banuelos, needs mL innings.

  13. GreenBeret7 March 13th, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Pat, I gotta think that Phelps popped some eyes out of their sockets tonight. With a tad less stuff than Warren, his ability to pitch makes him a choice on the next opportunity following Garcia as a starter. I think if it’s for bullpen work, it’s DJ Mitchell. If 2 starters are needed, Warren would be the 2nd starter. Betances and Banuelos, unless a serious string of injuries hit, not until the season is settled for NYYs.

  14. tucker March 14th, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Saw Phelps a couple of times in the Arizona Fall League last year. His stuff held well against the game’s best prospects. Of course, he may be ahead of some other pitchers right now because of the fall league stint.

  15. GreenBeret7 March 14th, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Phelps learned his job well under Head Coach Dave Schrange and his pitching coach Chuck Ristano at Notre Dame. They turned out 3 pitchers from the 2006 team in Phelps, Kyle Weiland and Jeff Samardzija.

  16. Rich in NJ March 14th, 2012 at 12:17 am

    How weird is it for it to be 60 degrees at 12 something am, 20 NW of NYC, on March 14th? Not that I’m complaining…

  17. G. Love March 14th, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Rich – I think it’s my fault. I spent almost 1k on a snowblower after the ridiculous winter last year. Since I’ve bought that thing, we haven’t had enough snow to use it. I’ve turned it on once just to hear what it sounds like.

    I was out in flip flops and shorts today. It’s bizarre.

  18. Mordot11 March 14th, 2012 at 12:29 am

    G. Love March 14th, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Rich – I think it’s my fault. I spent almost 1k on a snowblower after the ridiculous winter last year. Since I’ve bought that thing, we haven’t had enough snow to use it. I’ve turned it on once just to hear what it sounds like.

    I was out in flip flops and shorts today. It’s bizarre.


    Thanks! :D

  19. Rich in NJ March 14th, 2012 at 12:29 am

    G. Love

    Then it’s my turn to buy one next season. ;)

    Thanks, btw!

  20. m March 14th, 2012 at 12:36 am

    There was hail here last week. :shock:

  21. G. Love March 14th, 2012 at 12:40 am

    You have no idea the amount of fun my wife has had harassing me for buying that sleeping beast in the garage especially after that one snow we got wasn’t deep enough to use it. Ugh. I wish I could trade it in for a vertical smoker for BBQ season now.

  22. GreenBeret7 March 14th, 2012 at 12:40 am

    m March 14th, 2012 at 12:36 am
    There was hail here last week.


    That’s nothing. There’s hell on here every day.

  23. m March 14th, 2012 at 12:43 am


  24. blake March 14th, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Phelps reminds me of Kennedy in his mound presence and pitchability…..I don’t think his secondary stuff or command is as good as IPK but he knows how to attack hitters and is pretty darn solid……he’d be the # 4 starter for Boston right now…and Gammons would be slobbering all over his bulldog mentality …..

  25. blake March 14th, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Darvish with the Dice K esque outing yesterday…..walks, nibbling …etc.

  26. Benny Blanco March 14th, 2012 at 7:38 am


    When you think about it, not all of theses pitchers will be in the yankees rotation in future.

    Manny B

    Whats interesting is that I didn’t realize Phelps threw that hard. He was touching 94 yesterday.

  27. Benny Blanco March 14th, 2012 at 7:39 am

    “Darvish with the Dice K esque outing yesterday…..walks, nibbling …etc.”

    wait until he pitches every 5th day in the “dog days” of summer.

  28. blake March 14th, 2012 at 7:43 am


    Yea he’s 91-92 and can touch 93/94. He throws plenty hard enough with good location……is like to hang on to both him and Warren…..but as you say….they only have 5 spots and 3 are likely locked up already long term……and Id be shocked if Banuelos doesn’t grab one next year… really we are talking about one spot open long term

  29. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 7:44 am

    The interesting thing about Phelps IMO is not so much that he throws pretty hard but that he has a tendency not to walk many guys.

    In other words, he isn’t gonna hurt himself.

    Huge plus considering his tools.

  30. upstate kate March 14th, 2012 at 7:48 am

    nice pitching performances by our guys last night

  31. blake March 14th, 2012 at 7:49 am

    The thing with Dice K is that the longer he pitched in the big leagues the more afraid he got of the strike zone…..I think one of the biggest keys to Darvish’s success will be attacking hitters……you can’t pitch behind in the majors.

  32. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 7:49 am

    It’s gonna be very interesting in the coming year or so to see how the Yankees handle all of their upper level pitching.

    Perhaps things will sort themselves out thru injury or lack of performance but if it doesn’t go down that way they will have some decisions to make.

    It’s one thing to season a guy like Manny who’s just a kid for his level but guys like Phelps are quite bit older.

    Decisions, decisions.

    Most teams would kill to have such problems.

    Gotta think some of these guys are gonna be on the move for ??????


  33. blake March 14th, 2012 at 7:52 am


    Yea…minor league walk rates are pretty good and consistent….actually all his minor league numbers are good and consistent.

  34. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Watching Tazawa yesterday reminded once again how few of these Japanese guys actually turn into anything useful.

    Much like Igawa the Sux wasted a bunch of money on zippo.

    Not that I’m unhappy bout that for them.


  35. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 7:53 am


    Good and consistent.

    Like you.

    Well. At least the consistent part.


  36. blake March 14th, 2012 at 7:55 am


    Yea….you love to have that depth….but you can’t just keep guys in AAA forever if they are ready to.move up…..the system is set up to prevent that and its not fair to the players either….so yea I think at some point they will make a move….for now its Njce to have the depth.

  37. blake March 14th, 2012 at 7:57 am


    Thanks….you feeling better?

  38. RadioKev March 14th, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Yeah Blake, I agree with your Phelps assessment. He’d similar to IPK, all though he’s throwing his fastball harder than IPK ever did in NY. Secondary stuff not quite as good.

    If we could show him more in the bigs, he’d be a nice trade chip. Or better yet, maybe we can use him.

  39. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 8:00 am


    Yesterday was a good day. Hopin’ for more of the same today.

    Feel good enough to get back to the breakfast of champions so that’s a good sign.

    Didn’t hurt that it was close to 75 here yesterday. Spring has definitely sprung out here.

    Cherry and plum blossoms are already in evidence.

    Thanks for askin’.


  40. Benny Blanco March 14th, 2012 at 8:01 am

    The yankees have good problems:

    CC ( locked long-term)
    Nova ( Stop talking about trading this guy)
    Pineda ( BEAST)
    Hughes ( Needs to get back to 18 wins)
    ???? ( Betances, Manny B, Phelps, Warren, and Mitchell)

    The yankees have a excess of arms and not including Campos if he blows away the competition in the next year or so.

    This leads me to believe that one or two arms will get traded over the next year.

  41. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Phelps for JU straight up.

    I think that’s more than fair on our part.

  42. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 8:06 am


    I am sorry we had to move Noesi. I really liked him.

    Last season he was touching 95 + with his heater with command.

    Nice assortment of pitches and always around the zone.

    Smooth delivery.

    He could turn out to be a good one for Seattle.

    Hopefully Campos turns out even better.


  43. randy l. March 14th, 2012 at 8:15 am


    is it wrong if i laugh if noesi has a really good year with seattle while pineda is thinking ” screw that stubby little french canadian signaling for a change up with adrian gonzalez up with the bases loaded. i’m going fastball.” ?

  44. blake March 14th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I hated to lose Noesi as well….I think he’s going to be good….but he would have been just another of the 3-4 guys that’ll be fighting for a rotation spot in the coming years and the Yanks probably felt ok swapping him for a higher upisde guy that’s a little farther away… spread out the pitching depth a bit….I do think Noesi will have a good season in Seattle….

  45. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 8:20 am


    No. But somehow I’m not sure that’s the way it’s gonna go.

    At least the “stubby French Canadian part”.


  46. randy l. March 14th, 2012 at 8:23 am

    on a serious note, the yankees are a veteran team a year older , so the conventional wisdom will be that they will perform a little worse.

    however, i’m expecting alex. derek, and mark to actually step it up from last year .

    barring injuries, i think the yankees are going to be very solid offensively this year. the big qualifier is of course injuries. one big one and the whole dynamic changes. that’s for any team though.

    i will say that if martin gets hurt stealing a useless base for personal stat padding for his next contract and the worst throwing catcher in the majors is thrown into a starting role, i’m going to rooting for a catching change next year if not sooner.

  47. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 8:27 am


    The O should score plenty of runs.

    The pitching is improved.

    The BP is solid.

    The D should be good.

    The team has great depth and versatility.

    Built for the long haul in most areas.

    In short, I’m optimistic. Nothin’ new there though.


  48. randy l. March 14th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    “At least the “stubby French Canadian part”.”

    that was ” stubby LITTLE french canadian” by the way

    from pinedas height all catchers are stubby little guys , especially when they’re yelling at him into his belly button while he stands on the top of the mound when they come out.

  49. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 8:29 am


    Kinda like looking up at Mt. Everest.


  50. randy l. March 14th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    “.I do think Noesi will have a good season in Seattle….”

    blake -

    any chance it’ll be better than pineda’s in new york.

    safeco is a very easy place to pitch and yankee stadium can be problematic for pitchers who give up a lot of fly balls . i read somewhere that pineda was 7th in the american league in giving up the most fly balls.

    pineda could pitch better than noesi and have worse results.

  51. Yankee Trader March 14th, 2012 at 8:36 am


    Morning all.

    Is NC now at full strength? I’m trying to finish up my brackets.Are you going to any games in Greensboro?

  52. blake March 14th, 2012 at 8:38 am

    “any chance it’ll be better than pineda’s in new york.”

    Yup….there is a chance….but it depends on how you evaluate it. I wouldn’t be shocked if Noesi had a better ERA….but Pineda will probably have more wins and Ks and has more upisde long term which isnwhy they made the trade. Noesi is good….I wish Cash coukd have put somebody else in the deal but that’s they way it goes….

  53. blake March 14th, 2012 at 8:40 am


    Nah I doubt ill get down there….got a lot going around here. They kinda got fortunate that Fab Melo will be out if they have tingling through Cuse

  54. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 8:41 am


    Speakin’ of basketball.

    I thought it was pretty funny seeing Obama and the at UK PM together at a hoops game.

    Cameron has probably never been to a basketball game in his life. I’d bet Polo is his thing.

    Maybe when the truffles are out of season, or the caviar isn’t flowing.

    Maybe he’d like a tour of the Hood next.

    Too funny.


  55. Yankee Trader March 14th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Russell Branyan was the last Mariner to have 30 or more homers-31 in 2009, 16 in Safeco. The leading homerun hitter last year for the Mariners was Justin Smoak with 15 homers.

  56. Yankee Trader March 14th, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Are the Tarheels at full strength?

  57. MTU March 14th, 2012 at 8:48 am

    New thread ——>

  58. randy l. March 14th, 2012 at 9:00 am

    “Yup….there is a chance….but it depends on how you evaluate it. ”


    i think one thing noesi has going for him is he’s having had to fight for every step of the way in getting to the majors. it’s the same thing that nova had to do. nova by the way really has his head on straight about competing. it’s second nature to him now.

    i think pineda’s challenge is going into the heat of the battle in new york without having much preparation for it. he may ace the challenge and blow right through it. but i think tipping points are gong to be the thing to watch with him.

    i think the better it goes or the worse it goes will push him in that direction. where as a guy like nova will stay more even keel and take things one day at a time. nova has had to deal with uncertainty hs whole career.

    uncertainty is a strage animal in baseball . not everyone can handle it.i think handling uncertainty is one of the qualities of being a “real yankee”.

    i remember when i had snuck into the bullpen catching job under clete boyer when i totally sucked by mlb standards. i was literally day to day as the gm told me” the first real catcher who shows up you’re gone”. that’s uncertainty.

    i watched guys who had a lot of mlb experience wilt under clete hang in the wind during tryouts that lasted 6 weeks. whenever one would crack , he was gone. i thought clete was being kind of mean in never telling anyone where they were at.

    but over time i realized that was the old yankee way. if a player had to know where he stood, he wasn’t strong enough to be a yankee in clete’s eyes. i saw guys go into his office to see where they stood and saw him cut them the next day.

    nova didn’t blink when they sent him down in the middle of last year. he would have been clete’s kind of player. this thing about handling uncertainty is a big deal when a player is a yankee.

    players who don’t handle uncertainty well tend to make bad things happen. in other words they choke. it will be interesting to see if pineda has the ability to handle uncertainty. he did rise to the occasion when he was fast forwarded to the majors last summer so the potential is there.

    hanging out with nova won’t hurt.

  59. The Genius Maker March 14th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I could see Alex doing better and Tex as well, but I do not see Jeter. While his 2nd half was better, something will slow him down and it may just be normal age. His numbers show that he really should not be starting, let alone leading off against righties. His .700 OPS against righties belongs at the bottom of the lineup against righties. I said this prior to last year, but the sooner the Yanks understand this, the better off the team will be. I would much rather someone else get that extra AB every game.

    Jeter should leadoff against lefties; his platoon splits have been very large for the last 3 years (a .230 point difference in OPS)

    Honestly, one could make a good argument that along with his subpar defense, he should not even play against righties; but I know that is heresy. We better hope Nunez shows more both offensively and defensively this year.

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