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Saturday afternoon notes: Nova taking nothing for granted

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 15, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Ivan Nova

There were four pitchers chosen to throw the first group bullpen of Yankees camp, and the selections came as no coincidence. CC Sabathia was on the first mound, then Masahiro Tanaka, then Hiroki Kuroda, then Ivan Nova on the far end. Those are the four pitchers locked into the Yankees rotation for 2014.

Just don’t tell Nova.

“I’m still in a competition,” Nova said. “Nothing is sure. I know that CC can be sure. (So can) Kuroda, Tanaka. I’m one of the young guys. I’ve got to be doing the best out there in the competition.”

True, Nova was actually optioned to Triple-A at one point last season, but he pitched so well in the second half that he actually finished with the lowest ERA of any Yankees starter in 2013. He’s 27-year-old now, he’s entered his arbitration years, and there’s really no reason to think he’ll be anywhere except the middle of the big league rotation when the season starts.

But Nova said he’s treating this spring just like every other. He knows he’s been inconsistent in the past, and knows he’s lost focus from time to time.

“We expect Nova to be in our rotation,” Joe Girardi said. “But I love that attitude. You have to perform. The bottom line is it’s a performance-based business, so you have to go out and perform, but I love that attitude. I liked what I saw from him the first day out. But we expect him to be one of our starters.”

Coming off a good year, and a terrific second half, Nova’s looking to finally have a complete season. And it starts in spring training.

“I know I was struggling at the beginning (last season),” he said. “I got hurt and all that, but at the end you’ve got to prove that you can pitch in the big leagues. It’s something you put in your mind and you work hard to do. When I took the time in the minor leagues again, (I was) thinking what I want to do and execute in the big leagues. I know I have the stuff to have success in the big leagues. I did in the past. I guess I’ve got to do everything together from the beginning. That’s what I want to do from the first month, first start of the year.”

CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka· The first spring training workout was a success in that it seems no one was hurt, and everyone seemed to handle the bullpens and fielding drills and batting practice rounds without a problem. “As I said yesterday, with the open competitions that we have here, I had some concerns about guys trying to do too much,” Girardi said. “And I didn’t see that today.”

· Francisco Cervelli caught Masahiro Tanaka’s first American bullpen on Thrusday, and Cervelli caught him again today. “The fastball command was really good,” Cervelli said. “He threw the same pitches — (fastballs), sliders and split — but what I care about is the fastball, and it was really good. The two-seam and some sliders was good, some a little slow, but he’s going to get it with the time.”

· Speaking of Tanaka, the attention on him continues to be intense. Media from both Japan and the U.S. followed his every move around the back fields today. “As a player, I feel very honored to get this much attention,” Tanaka said. “Some of the fans were cheering today and I was very happy to receive those cheers. At the same time, I understand that I haven’t given out any results on the field yet, so my focus is to train and go out there, try to get those results.”

· Cervelli’s awesome quote on all the Tanaka attention: “He’s going to get used to that. When the whole team comes here, it’s going to be the same for everybody. He’s not the only guy who makes $100 million here. There’s going to be attention for a lot of people. Even me, I don’t make even a million and I’ve got attention sometimes.”

· Tanaka said the duration of today’s workout was much shorter than he’s used to. In Japan, pitchers throw much longer bullpens because they go more days between starts. Everything else at least looked familiar to Tanaka. He was laughing with Sabathia, Kuroda and Nova as those four went through pitchers fielding practice together.

Brian McCann· If you’re looking for my own analysis of today’s bullpen sessions, I’m really not in a great position to give much. We’re kind of forced to stand at an awkward angle to the side of the pitchers, so it’s hard to get a real good sense of what exactly the ball is doing. Plus, these early bullpens don’t tell much anyway.

· So what will Tanaka remember most about his first Yankees workout? “Probably what I will remember is the four laps that we did at the end,” he said. “It was pretty hard.” Before the English translation, the Japanese reporters were already cracking up at Tanaka’s answer. He kept talking about how hard the running was. Pretty sure he was joking around (mostly). “I’m a little bit of a slow runner, but that part I really can’t help,” he said.

· Small bit of housekeeping: Japanese reliever Yoshinori Tateyama — a veteran non-roster invite who pitched well in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year — has not yet reported to camp because of visa issues. No word on when he’ll be here.

· Final word will go to Girardi, talking about the Tanaka transition: “I think what you’ll see is you’ll see his bullpens shorter than what it might be if (he’s starting) every seven days. Some of the bullpen numbers that I’ve heard they throw in Japan, it’s pretty hard to work it here if you’re throwing 100 pitches in between starts. Those are the things we’re going to have to manage. He’ll throw a couple times on five days rest in spring training, and maybe one time we’ll give him a sixth day just because of an off day. But just trying to get him used to the five-day rotation slowly.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

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54 Responses to “Saturday afternoon notes: Nova taking nothing for granted”

  1. UpState February 15th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    blake February 15th, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    “…I’m also not sure the Cubs are gonna trade Castro any time soon…..they’d be selling low and they can just move him to 2B if Baez takes SS…”

    =========================================

    The Cubs have agreed to terms with infielder Emilio Bonifacio.
    The agreement is for a minor-league deal.

    Could Chicago be starting to make some infield moves by signing EB as ‘insurance’ ???

    (Obviously – we didn’t think this guy was worth too much.)

  2. tucker February 15th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    The Yanks are in full-fledged talent acquisition mode. Hal realized from last season that fans will tune out if the team is not a championship contender. That has triggered the offseason spending spree and the chatter that the team will go big on international signings. The Jeter retirement announcement only punctuates the need to transition from the core four to the next generation of talent.

    The team will compete now. Drew would make them better, but it almost seems like Hal believes they have spent enough for next year but still realizes the need to acquire young talent beyond next year. That is why I think they aggressively pursue Diaz and the international free agents but are less likely to go after Drew. They’ve acquired enough MLB talent in the offseason to ensure they are competitive next year — enough to keep the fans coming through the turnstiles, particularly during Jeter’s farewell tour. But I don’t think Hal has the go for the throat style that his father did, so I doubt they pursue Drew.

  3. coney1 February 15th, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Tucker, you hit the nail on the head.

  4. TKR February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    worried about CC weight loss..

  5. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Burton Cummings doing Gordon Lightfoot singing Rod Stewart’s ” Wake up Maggie I think I’ve got something to say to you, its late September… ”

    No kidding, I’ve got Burton’s recent ” Up Close and Alone ” unplugged cd. Very talented guy.

  6. TKR February 15th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    worried about IP with CC

  7. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RsxPe5jbauc

    Burton looks like Bert Reynolds in this made for tv version of, ” American Woman “.

  8. braeburn February 15th, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    the one person who should be seen and not heard is cervelli.

    the yankees should have gotten rid of him because of biogenesis and here we are having him be the early personal catcher of tanaka and giving all kinds of quotes.

    just shut up francisco.

    sometimes the yankees make no sense to me.
    there has been clearly no punishment from the yankees for being suspended for PEDS.
    he’s back and business as usual.

    nice message to send to your other young players.

  9. raymagnetic February 15th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Cervelli did the crime and did the time. Why should there be additional punishment for him?

    He lost money last year and is not even making a million dollars this year. That’s punishment enough.

  10. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g1T71PGd-J0

    Great, one of my three older sisters took me aside and explained, ” My Sharona “. I was just a kid, I didn’t know what was going on. :D

  11. joeman February 15th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    raymagnetic February 15th, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    Cervelli did the crime and did the time. Why should there be additional punishment for him?

    He lost money last year and is not even making a million dollars this year. That’s punishment enough.
    —————————————–
    Cervelli on PEDs stinks

  12. joeman February 15th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    big win today by UConn…guard play will have to carry them in March

  13. Giuseppe Franco February 15th, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    My biggest issue with Cervelli has nothing to do with PEDs. It’s just that I don’t think he’s all that good.

    I wouldn’t care if they had an entire team full of PED users. Just learn from Ortiz how not to get caught.

  14. joeman February 15th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Giuseppe Franco February 15th, 2014 at 5:12 pm
    My biggest issue with Cervelli has nothing to do with PEDs. It’s just that I don’t think he’s all that good.
    —————————————-
    there you go..

  15. blake February 15th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    “Could Chicago be starting to make some infield moves by signing EB as ‘insurance’ ???”

    Eh it’s a minor league deal….I think he’s merely a place holder or depth m

  16. yankinvegas February 15th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    The thing that has me the most geeked up for this season is what I think will be the very positive developments with our young players.
    Pineda and Banuelos really have me psyched, though Manny will probably not be a major factor (barring injury to others) this year but will be ready to replace Hiro next year, at a savings of 15 million +
    I hope that the Yankees will take some chances in the bullpen, and if they look good this spring take Betances and Ramirez north. The Cards made it to the WS with young flamethrowers with no MLB experience. Why not us?
    I think we will acquire Aramis Ramirez in July t solve 3b.
    The only team in the division tat I feel will cause us a moderate headache is Tampa Bay. I truly expect the Red Sox to crawl back under the rock they came out from last season. Too many guys had unexpectedly good years – Lackey, Tazawa, Uehara, Napoli, Nava, Victorino. Plus, hopefully Ortiz will be exposed as a PED freak this year and the the CF will now be strutting his stuff in the pinstripes.

  17. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    joeman, my Ukranian friend ( not to be confused with, Russian, as apparently its an insult ), just explained to me that Ukranians don’t care about hockey, because its all about the music and poetry there. I think I would have a fine time then, trying to converse with a Ukranian woman! Hungarians have interesting angular facial features as well.

  18. pete2 February 15th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    The Yankees tinkering with Tanaka makes me a bit nervous. Surely Tanaka has talked to Kuroda, Iwakuma and perhaps Darvish and maybe Daisuke about their transitions and can design his own program. Not like the Yankees have ever successfully transitioned a Japanese pitcher (key word, successfully) although I am sure they talked to Kuroda.

    Tanaka seems ok with what they are doing, so maybe it was a collaboration. I just hope I don’t hear Tanaka saying in May after a bad April that his arm has not felt strong because he did not throw enough in ST.

    I wonder if the Yankees would consider a 6 man rotation at times this year. The only horse they have is CC although after last year I am not so sure about that. However, guys like Kuroda (age), Tanaka (transition) and Pineda (surgery) would be better off not making 30+ starts this year, and it probably would not hurt CC and Nova.

  19. joeman February 15th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    lot of IP in that arm of CC

  20. raymagnetic February 15th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Cervelli is fine for a back up catcher.

  21. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    GF, shout out to you. As much as I think Rush is a wonderful arena band ( and they are ), AC/DC rules the day. Never sloppy, a professional act all the way through that haze! :)

  22. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I hope my shortstop holds together…its like having that perfect F1 car that might blow up upon any given sunny day. Best to Michael Schumacher and his family.

  23. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Yankinvegas, you didn’t mention my Jays. No big deal, in all my years ( and I’ve seen every Jay season ), 2013 was my worst yet – ( I can forgive my expansion squads ). Still, I’m expecting the same group to cause some headaches in 2014.

  24. tucker February 15th, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Vegas, I too hope Ramirez makes the 25 man. He had such electric stuff last spring. Would love to see Brtances, too, but I’ve grown a bit skeptical of his ability to command the strike zone. Hope he proves me wrong.

    The big X factor may be Pineda. Doubt he has the innings under his belt to make the rotation, but if his velocity is trending in the right direction, he may be the 8th inning guy.

  25. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ShPc3nY5m5w#

    jmv, this one’s for toi. Ayrton Senna. Like Gilles, a master in the rain, and then some!

  26. UpState February 15th, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes and quotes…
    an executive who notes the Rays will still probably eventually trade Price, because deals for players like Wil Myers and Chris Archer are currently the Rays’ most reliable way to accumulate talent,

    since recent drafts haven’t yielded much top talent and…

    since they don’t have the budget to acquire key players on the free-agent market.
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    How can this be ???

    The RAYS’ drafts didn’t result in superstars ?

    Maybe the no longer got those ‘slam dunk’ early first round picks when the team sucked ?

    Now that they’ve been decent – suddenly ‘no more slam-dunk’ draft picks ….

    Doesn’t that sound a bit familiar ???

  27. PhiltheThrill February 15th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Cervelli used to walk a lot in the minors. I have no idea what happened to that part of his game, because it was the only plus part of his game.

  28. PhiltheThrill February 15th, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    UpState,

    because they are a good team now and no longer have top 10 picks in every round every year.

  29. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Upstate, hi, I’m glad you and chicken enjoyed the Corrs – a classically trained band all the way. I never seem to be able to defeat the Rays. About time things changed. I like John Gibbons, he is a great guy. Whether my Jays get it done or not, Gibbons is fine in my books. I think the Jays can stir up some dust.

  30. Against All Odds February 15th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    How many slam dunk picks have they actually had though??

  31. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    F1 drivers are some of the fittest people on the planet. So many of the baseball players look dumpy. There’s no way I’d want to be Clemens for all his 353 odd wins. Sure, he had two jacked up seasons in Toronto, but he’s no Dave Stieb!

  32. Giuseppe Franco February 15th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    jmills February 15th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    GF, shout out to you. As much as I think Rush is a wonderful arena band ( and they are ), AC/DC rules the day. Never sloppy, a professional act all the way through that haze! :)

    —–

    I just read a piece this morning interviewing Brian Johnson and he said they are going to hit the recording studio in May and will launch a 40 show world tour to commemorate their 40th Anniversary.

    I missed them on their last tour because I was incapacitated with an illness but I can promise you that I won’t miss this one.

    I had a hard lifting day this morning and I was blaring AC/DC at top volume to get me through it.

  33. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Hi against, hope all is swell ( I will try and avoid the Phil Collins references ) :D

  34. Giuseppe Franco February 15th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Here’s the aforementioned piece about the greatest band in the world.

    http://www.blabbermouth.net/ne.....io-in-may/

  35. tomingeorgia February 15th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Just got my renewal notice from MLB.TV. Sure sign of spring!

  36. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    GF, AC/DC help get us sorry sods through ever difficle temps!

  37. tomingeorgia February 15th, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    blake,
    Going to watch the Sprint Unlimited tonight? I am. Lots of engine blew up today. Fun, fun, fun!

  38. Against All Odds February 15th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:39 pm
    Hi against, hope all is swell ( I will try and avoid the Phil Collins references ) :D

    ——————-

    lol

  39. Revenge of Stoneburner February 15th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Angels signee Mark Mulder suffered a ruptured left Achillies tendon during agility drills, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The injury could mean that the 36-year-old, who has not appeared in the majors since 2008, will not pitch in 2014. DiGiovanna says the lefty’s comeback attempt is “over before it began.”

    eeesh

  40. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Malcolm gives that rhythm sonic push behind his brother, Angus. I am a huge supporter of Alex lifeson. Rhythm, lead, whatever, Alex brings the rock and roll, and an intelligent heart, to Rush.

  41. Giuseppe Franco February 15th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Spring Training begins tomorrow for my spring/summer baseball league.

    Can’t get here soon enough.

  42. Yankee Trader February 15th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Good evening

    Little worrisome that Tanaka is not in shape. Remind you of another pitcher?

    From NY Times:

    But in his four laps around the warning track of a practice field, about a mile, Tanaka gasped for breath as if he were an amateur runner nearing the end of his first marathon.

    Tanaka said that years from now, when he looks back on his first day in pinstripes, the one thing he will remember will not be the huge news media contingent, or the mound session alongside Kuroda and C. C. Sabathia. It will be those torturous four laps, acknowledging that they had been difficult.

    “I didn’t know that I was going to run this much,” he said through his interpreter. “I’m a little bit of a slow runner. But that part I really can’t help.”

    It is not what Tanaka does on the jogging track in February that matters, but what he does on the mound in the regular season. The Yankees hope there is no correlation between Tanaka’s conditioning work on Day 1 and his performance in games that count. But it is safe to say that had the Yankees owner George Steinbrenner been alive to witness the display, he would not have been pleased. After all, the Yankees paid $20 million to Tanaka’s Japanese team for the right to sign him and committed $155 million more to him in contract obligations.

    Tanaka acknowledged that he had not been prepared and mentioned it twice without prompting during a news conference.

    “The running part,” he said, “that was really hard for me.”

  43. jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_vzBKjLu0U0

    Betty Blue 37.2 degrees Le Matin always makes me feel good,….even when I’ve been a train wreck. I love Betty’s undying will to believe.

  44. Giuseppe Franco February 15th, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    My nephew just turned 19 yrs old and was a converted head banger since birth because of me.

    AC/DC was his first concert on their Black Ice tour and Rush was his second on their last tour.

    Sure beats the hell out of Beyonce, Pink, or Justin Bieber.

  45. Giuseppe Franco February 15th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I seem to recall that Igawa was the polar opposite regarding running.

    In fact, if my memory serves me, the Yanks’ coaching staff thought he ran too much.

    Obviously, whatever he did never worked very well.

  46. tomingeorgia February 15th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    How much do they run pitchers in Japan?

  47. Jerkface February 15th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Not sure the running thing is a big deal. Some people just don’t run well. Tanaka has been working out and throwing for the past 2 months. Phil Hughes was a guy that was very good on the running aspect but not too good on the pitching aspect.

  48. pete2 February 15th, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I am surprised by Tanakas surprise with the running. I thought their ST in Japan was more grueling than in the US. Its not about how fast you run but conditioning. Sounds like Tanaka is a bit behind.

  49. Yankee Trader February 15th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    GF

    Gotta run, but I was thinking of Pineda, a pitcher the Yankees didn’t keep on top of in the offseason after they traded for him. Plus I had hoped that the Yankees would have done their own physical before completing the contract for their new multimillion dollar man. They relied on the Orthopedic exam of his arm at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in LA, and not on any further exam of cardiopulmonary endurance.

    Anyway, it’s probably just a case of not being physically in shape rather than some underlying medical problem.

  50. Jerkface February 15th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Its the high school programs that are known for the grueling conditions in Japan. They do work a lot in the NPB but its much less and more throwing/drills.

  51. UpState February 15th, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    jmills February 15th, 2014 at 6:31 pm
    Upstate, hi, I’m glad you and chicken enjoyed the Corrs – a classically trained band all the way. I never seem to be able to defeat the Rays. About time things changed. I like John Gibbons, he is a great guy. Whether my Jays get it done or not, Gibbons is fine in my books. I think the Jays can stir up some dust.
    ==============================

    Always worry about Toronto….always seem to have guys that win games that we don’t expect.
    Perpetual pains regardless of record.

  52. Jerkface February 15th, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    much less running I mean.

  53. pete2 February 15th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    joeman February 15th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    “Cervelli on PEDs stinks”
    ==========================

    Wasn’t Cervelli Canos workout partner in the offseason the past couple of years. Might explain the Yankees lack of interest in resigning Cano

  54. pete2 February 15th, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    jerkface, thanks, that explains a lot. Seems Japanese pitchers focus on arm strength, while MLB pitchers may focus more on legs and core. Don’t know which is best really.

    I am reminded of one of Farrells comments on Daisuke when he was pitching coach

    “”In hindsight, there might not have been the work that he needed to put in on his own time during the offseason to build the foundation that every pitcher requires to withstand the workloads that a major league starting pitcher is going to go through here in the States,” Farrell said.”

    Daisuke never bought into the MLB approach (core and leg training over throwing to build up the arm) and blamed it for his failures.

    I am sure Tanaka won’t have the same problem as he has Kuroda to help. Kuroda may be the key to Tanakas transition

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