The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Day 3 notes: Nova ready to make his pitch for the rotation

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 14, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Here’s the unusual reality that Ivan Nova faces this spring: He can’t pinpoint an exact reason for last year’s second-half struggles, and without that clarity he can only lean on those things that worked in the past, which are basically the same things he was trying to do when things were going badly. In other words, Nova has no plans to make a drastic change, he simply has to believe that the results will be better.

“I don’t think I’ve got to prove anything to myself,” Nova said. “I know what I’ve got. I see a lot of veteran pitchers go through the same thing, go through that, and then find a way to get out of it. Hopefully this year will be better.”

A fresh start. That’s what Nova called it. He’s been very good for long stretches in the big leagues, but those stretches haven’t defined him any more than last year’s 7.05 ERA after the All-Star break. Nova’s defining moments are still to come, beginning with this spring’s competition for the last spot in the Yankees rotation.

“I was in competition when I had the season that I had (last year),” Nova said. “Last year was a competition. This year’s going to be a competition. For me, next year is going to be a competition. Like I told one of the guys, CC got $100-something million. (With that contract) I can sit down, and it’s not a competition, (but) for me, every year is a competition. … I’m confident at the same time that I’m going to be there. I cannot sit here and let things happen. I’ve got to go and fight for it.”

Larry Rothschild has said that Nova should be considered a favorite for the rotation, but Joe Girardi didn’t go quite that far.

“He has to go out and prove himself, that’s the bottom line, because of what he went through the second half of last season,” Girardi said. “He has to earn a job. You’d like to think that every starter would go out and earn a job, but we know that’s not realistic. I don’t think we’re going to look at CC’s numbers real heavily, or Kuroda’s.”

• In the fifth starter competition, is David Phelps actually at a disadvantage because he’s proven he can have success out of the bullpen? “When we talk about our pitching staff we talk about how they work together as 12 and not just five,” Girardi said. “He did a really good job in that role, but we’re going to look at him as a starter going into camp because that’s what we project him as in the future. And we’ll make adjustments as we have to.”

• Nova threw a 35-pitch bullpen today but has yet to face hitters. Phelps threw 30 pitches to live hitters. “Some of these guys are (ahead of the normal schedule) knowing that we had some games pretty quickly,” Girardi said. “Some of the guys that are ahead of schedule have been down in Tampa for a while, and it works out well, actually.”

• CC Sabathia said on Tuesday that he would throw a bullpen today. Why didn’t he? “I always thought it was (supposed to be) Saturday,” Girardi said. “There might have been a little confusion. There’s nothing wrong with him.”

• Brian Cashman said he thinks it’s realistic to think Michael Pineda could be with the Yankees by June, but he cautioned that there’s still a lot of uncertainty involved. “Mike’s doing well so far,” Cashman said. “He’s completing his first week on a full mound, he’s had no setbacks, he’s worked hard and it’s a very serious surgery he’s coming back from. No guarantees, but so far we’re cautiously optimistic.”

• Girardi said he’s not sure when new reliever Shawn Kelley will arrive in Yankees camp. “He’s another power arm, and a guy that has been used late in games,” Girardi said. “He’s a guy who can give you two innings if you need that, and I think that’s important that you have guys that can do different things. I think it gives you a healthy competition in that bullpen, for some of the spots down there, and he pitched pretty well for Seattle.”

• Cashman on the Kelley acquisition: “Good arm. He’s got a swing-and-miss slider. He’s got an option. We like his ability, and we felt the more the merrier. He’ll come in and compete for a spot on the team. If not, we’ll have another real quality choice to turn to at Triple-A if we need it.”

• Cashman said there’s no new information on Alex Rodriguez, who’s supposed to get to New York for rehab work tomorrow. Cashman said Rodriguez is not expected in Tampa at any point this spring.

• There were apparently two trips of pitchers going to throw batting practice at the minor league complex. The first group got there in time to do their scheduled work, but the second group turned around because of rain. That group wound up throwing indoor bullpens — not facing hitters — at the big league complex.

• Kevin Youkilis was in the clubhouse for a few minutes today. There weren’t many pitchers in the clubhouse at the time, but he did have a huge hug for one of them. It was, of all people, Juan Cedeno. The lefty played his early pro years in the Red Sox system. Those two must have known one another back then. There was also an Eduardo Nunez sighting today.

• Youkilis said he flew a red eye from California and landed in Tampa at 6:30 this morning. He essentially went straight to the minor league complex to work out. “You got to get acclimated,” Youkilis said. “I had enough sleep. Starbucks does you well. It was fine. It’s like a normal season.”

• Girardi said, as far as he knows, no position players are expected to report late because of visa issues or any other travel complication.

• Finally, here’s Phelps explaining how he went from wearing No. 41 last season to wearing No. 35 when he first got to spring training to now wearing No. 41 again (Pineda is wearing No. 35). “I really don’t know,” Phelps said. “I came in one day I was 35, came in the next day I was 41. I know Mike was 35 last year. He might have wanted it. It’s a number. Playing for the name on the front, not so much what’s on the back.” Phelps wore 35 in college and in the minors.

Associated Press photos

 
 

Advertisement

61 Responses to “Day 3 notes: Nova ready to make his pitch for the rotation”

  1. Hassey February 14th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Aldo Nova traded in his axe for a pair of cleats?

  2. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I feel bad for Phelps that an injured guy took his number.

  3. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Nova wasn’t realistically supposed to repeat his 2011 success, so that he pitched so well in the first half of 2012 was gravy in my eyes. He needs to sustain this new K rate though, ground balls are not going to save him.

  4. RadioKev February 14th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 4:09 pm
    Nova wasn’t realistically supposed to repeat his 2011 success, so that he pitched so well in the first half of 2012 was gravy in my eyes. He needs to sustain this new K rate though, ground balls are not going to save him.
    ———-

    Ground balls will sure save Nova if it stops people from slugging the hell out of him.

  5. jacksquat February 14th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    McCulloughSL That’s a lot of Wawa. RT @mikedigiovanna: Last season Mike Trout looked like an NFL RB. More like a FB now. He reported at 240lbs.

    Wow.

  6. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    so that he pitched so well in the first half of 2012 was gravy in my eyes.

    Eh.. he had 35 very good innings in June. 5.6 ERA from the start to end of May. 6.3 ERA from July 1st to the end of the year. That is some rotten gravy.

    he needs to stop chucking his non deceptive fastball down the middle.

  7. jacksquat February 14th, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 4:06 pm
    I feel bad for Phelps that an injured guy took his number.

    Yeah, because Pineda is just “injured guy”. :roll:

  8. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    “he needs to stop chucking his non deceptive fastball down the middle”

    I’m sure having Soriano around wasn’t helping that situation :p

  9. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Usually, if a player wants an already assigned number, he pays or trades for it.

  10. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Yeah, because Pineda is just “injured guy”

    ??? Its not dismissing Pineda, its just a fact. Phelps is pitching and was in the Yankees organization. Pineda came over in a trade and hasn’t pitched a lick. Phelps should have the number he has always had in the Yankees org.

  11. jacksquat February 14th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Actually, Pineda had 35 last year and Phelps had 41, then Phelps took Pineda’s number when he got injured. It’s Pineda’s number.

  12. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Well, he didn’t “take” it. Someone assigned it, and then he constructively took possession of it.

  13. Wave Your Hat February 14th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    My guess is Phelps doesn’t care what number he has, so long as he has a number.

  14. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    If only every player felt that way.

  15. austinmac February 14th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Guys like Phelps simply want to pitch in the majors. Watching him pitch is like hearing him talk. He’s even keeled. That’s why he can pitch well without a dominant pitch.

  16. austinmac February 14th, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Is Trout at 240 lbs. a good thing for him?

  17. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    austinmac – Unless you are 7 feet tall, 240lbs is not good for anyone.

  18. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    B-R.com has him listed at 210 last season.

  19. RadioKev February 14th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    austinmac February 14th, 2013 at 4:43 pm
    Is Trout at 240 lbs. a good thing for him?
    ——–

    He gained something like 30lbs? What the heck? Wonder if that will limit his speed.

  20. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Short-term, he will probably be even more of a monster.

  21. jacksquat February 14th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    You have to be very thick to be in good shape at 6’1″, 240 lbs.

  22. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Short-term he will have less bat speed and less stolen bases… if he added 30 pounds of muscle in 5 months… he’s going to get suspended.

  23. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Reminds me of Sam Mills out of Montclair State.

    A LB, but 5’9″ 229.

  24. jacksquat February 14th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I think he said he was 220 last year, so 20 lbs gained. No idea if it’s all muscle or he’s a little out of shape or what.

  25. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    If he has less bat speed, we will hear about it very soon.

  26. Shame Spencer February 14th, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    30lbs in a couple months?? That’s a lot of creatine.

    I wonder if that’s all.

  27. blake February 14th, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    If rather have fat Trout than all of our outfielders

  28. austinmac February 14th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I wonder if those reports are accurate. Seems unlikely, bit if true, interesting.

  29. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    blake – because you assume a fat trout can hit? An odd assumption in a place where guys are nearly run out of town for showing up to camp and only “looking fat” in a picture, and not actually being overweight.

  30. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Who was run out of town when they were performing well?

  31. blake February 14th, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    My guess is trout isnt overweight at all and will be awesome again in 2013

  32. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Hey, I’m just as excited about Trout as the next guy… but we’ll see how awesome he is when he loses 40-50 points off his BABIP. There is not a lot of reason to expect a repeat of last year.

  33. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Actually, Pineda had 35 last year and Phelps had 41, then Phelps took Pineda’s number when he got injured. It’s Pineda’s number.

    Read the article. Phelps had 35 in the minors and college. Give the long standing Yankee guy the number he wants.

  34. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    jerkface – Phelps was 79 in ST last year, and 41 during the season.

    He was #35 for 1 day this year at the beginning of ST.

    35 was Pineda’s number last year, why are you giving his number away?

  35. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    35 was Pineda’s number last year, why are you giving his number away?

    Because Phelps had 35 in the Yankees system and college and Pineda hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Yankees.

  36. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Giving the number to the out of shape, DUI, 60-day DL guy who hasn’t pitched a meaningful inning for the team over the home grown Yankee product is lame.

  37. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    jerkface – Sounds like a conversation for last year.

  38. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    jerkface – Sounds like a conversation for last year.

    Nah its a conversation for this year, as Pineda forfeited any rights to 35 when he blew up his shoulder. Now that Phelps has pitched in the big leagues and is most likely going to leave spring training on the 25 man roster he ought to have the number. If Pineda wants it back he can: 1. get healthy and pitch in the majors 2. barter for it off Phelps

  39. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    “as Pineda forfeited any rights to 35 when he blew up his shoulder”
    Absurd.

    It’s not a matter of Pineda “getting it back” in the first place, it was always his number. If Phelps wanted it, he could have paid for it or bartered for it last year.

    I’ve never, ever heard of uniform numbers being up for grabs between seasons based on merit or DL stints.

    “It’s a number. Playing for the name on the front, not so much what’s on the back.”

    It also seems like you care more than he does.

    If you said you didn’t want Pineda to have Moose’s number, I’d sooner buy that story.

  40. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I don’t care that much, I just said it is lame that phelps can’t have his yankees minor league/college number because of a guy thats never even pitched for the Yankees.

    You seem to care an awful lot about Pineda retaining a number he could easily have taken away by the Yankees.

  41. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I care? No, I’m just pointing out the absurdity of this conversation. If it mattered to Phelps in the slightest, it would probably be his number.

    Why would the Yankees go out of their way to take a number away from one player and give it to another… at the request of neither?

  42. Jerkface February 14th, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Someone already did do it, then it was reversed. Probably because they heard you marching down the street arm in arm with jacksquat to correct the injustice done to Pineda.

  43. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Pineda does have a doggedly loyal following here for someone who has yet to pitch a regular season inning in the ML or the mL for the franchise.

  44. Against All Odds February 14th, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Pineda does have a doggedly loyal following here for someone who has yet to pitch a regular season inning in the ML or the mL for the franchise

    ————-

    It goes back to the trade as all things do.

  45. blake February 14th, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Charles (San Jose)

    Call you tell me how close Didi Gregorius came to your top 100? I’m still trying to believe in Kevin Towers’ proclamations of his ability.
    Klaw (1:24 PM)

    Was not a consideration at all. I do not believe he’ll hit.

  46. blake February 14th, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Kim Last (Brooklyn)

    Jose Ramirez a realistic option for the NYY?
    Klaw (1:25 PM)

    Has to stay healthy. Huge stuff. Never healthy for more than a few months at a time.

  47. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    It’s nothing to do with loyalty, Rich. This conversation is just stupid.

    Both players had to have agreed to switch numbers both times. They are both on the major league roster. It’s not some wacko conspiracy that the Yankees are either favoring Pineda or denying Phelps a uniform number… and certainly nothing to “feel bad about”.

    To pine for Phelps to have his way over Pineda in spite of Phelps being quoted above as “not caring” only displays scornful disdain for Pineda.

    I fully agree, it’s time to get over the Montero trade.

  48. G. Love February 14th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Rich,

    Outside of showing up last year out of shape, getting injured, getting a DUI and never throwing a pitch for the team in the regular season yet, Pineda’s been a boffo acquisition thus far…and it only cost the RH hitting bat this offense sorely lacks behind the plate & at DH.

    And mark my words; They will rush him. If he shows any semblance of a fastball they will rush him up here faster than Hughes & Joba when Torre was here because they need to show something tangible for that trade.

  49. Rich in NJ February 14th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    “It goes back to the trade as all things do.”

    Which makes it all the more strange. He’s a Yankee. I want the Yankees to be great. That means every asset they have needs to perform well. So I’m all in on Pineda (and, as I have said, I can’t root for former Yankees; call it a character flaw or whatever).

    Beyond that, it’s a mystery to me, other than as a proxy for support for Teflon Cashman.

  50. G. Love February 14th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I think it’s completely a proxy support for Teflon Cashman & a jab against the people who hated the trade & still do.

    That being said, everyone (almost) knows he’s a Yankee and the best thing for us is for him to be good.

    I just think getting excited about anything until he’s letting loose in games is silly. He had a major operation and it will take a lot of luck to get him back on a major league mound.

  51. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    “mark my words; They will rush him” “because they need to show something tangible for that trade”

    Unlike you, the Yankees are probably not too fixated on what 1 player out of the 40 man roster does. It’s not in their best interests to rush anyone back from injury, implying they do so purposefully is silly.

    “and it only cost the RH hitting bat this offense sorely lacks”

    I love the head in the sand approach to the fact that Montero hit .220 off RHP last season. It really drives your point home.

  52. G. Love February 14th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    What did he hit off of Lefties Genius?

    That’s the RH hitting bat I’m talking about.

    And trusting the same team that made Pineda stay out there with a torn labrum telling him to throw harder so soon to be gentle with him?

    Short memory.

    Like really short.

  53. G. Love February 14th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    If we have a better C and RH hitting DH vs LHP than Montero based on last seasons stats playing in a cavern 1/2 his games, please let me know who that is and don’t give me Jeter, Tex or Youkilis since they only DH on days off.

  54. blake February 14th, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Montero hit .295 and OPSd .768 away from Safeco…..that’s probably closer to where he really was as a rookie.

    I’m interested to see what he does in his sophomore campaign with the shorter fences…..

    Those who have played know that a ballpark can get in your head….I think it’s affected a lot of young players

  55. Against All Odds February 14th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Beyond that, it’s a mystery to me, other than as a proxy for support for Teflon Cashman

    ———

    It is a mystery. It’s even crazy when ppl use WAR to make it seem like the Ms were impacted negatively while the Yankees broke even. That’s not the case

    We are all pulling for Pineda even though it would have been nice seeing Jesus hit in the stadium.

  56. tomingeorgia February 14th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    All ball parks act the same on a line single or a drive up the gap. Thought we didn’t like homers around here.

  57. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    yes, he hit lefties (mostly all of the power in the second half iirc).

    You don’t want to look at his DH split though… nothing but trouble there. You probably also don’t want to compare what he did to the production the Yankees actually got last year…

    So you want to platoon a catcher that will also DH, now you have to carry 3 catchers or risk… oh wait never mind, Swisher is gone… who’s the emergency catcher now? Anyway… Then the other half of the DH platoon… so you have 1/5th of your roster covering 2 positions.

    “playing in a cavern 1/2 his games”

    Another thing you could easily look up yourself. He didn’t hit a single fly ball in Safeco that would have gone out of Yankee Stadium.

  58. Irreverent Discourse February 14th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I don’t want to get into disparaging one player for the sake of the other. I’m heavily invested in Jesus in my dynasty league… so I have no motivation for him to perform poorly at all.

    So far, I don’t think anyone can claim that Jesus or Pineda would have solved any Yankee woes. They got great production last season from the DH role anyway, and the starting staff was pretty damn solid for a large portion of the season regardless of losing Pineda/Pettite.

  59. blake February 14th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    “Another thing you could easily look up yourself. He didn’t hit a single fly ball in Safeco that would have gone out of Yankee Stadium.”

    That’s really hard to say….you can’t just go by where the ball landed because that marine layer is a big factor in why the ball doesn’t travel there….whereas in YS there is the RF jet stream…..also their is a mental factor to hitting in that park IMO……I watched Ackley play a lot in college…. The guy can flat out hit and he’s just disappeared in Seattle…,Smoak was compared to Tex and was a college phenom hitter and the same thing with him…..that park is just death to young hitters….

  60. randy l. February 14th, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    “Those who have played know that a ballpark can get in your head….I think it’s affected a lot of young players”

    blake-

    it’s just like in golf, if you can carry 280 yds easy with your drive, try doing it over 260-270 yards of water and watch what happens. how far you have to hit the ball , what the wind is doing, what the background is, the lighting, the sun all matter.

    some swings are more immune than others to outside factors, but all hitters are affected by the park they are hitting in.

  61. jay51 February 15th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    If you guys all want to get technical, Aardsma wore #35 last year (http://www.baseball-reference......da01.shtml)

    Now Aardsma is wearing #34, where his number 53 was available until it was assigned in Spring Training to Spence. Any idea why Aardsma is wearing #34 and not #53 (or even #35)?


Sponsored by:
 

Search

    Advertisement

    Follow

    Mobile

    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.

Advertisement

Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581