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Nova: “I’m old enough to know what I’m doing”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 19, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Ivan Nova

After delivering the Yankees best start of the spring, Ivan Nova stood in the clubhouse this afternoon and talked a lot about confidence, adjustments and expectations. And this is the story he told.

“It’s like Larry (Rothschild) told me the other day,” Nova said. “We were throwing a bullpen and he said, ‘What are we going to work on?’ I told him, ‘I just want to keep the ball down.’ He said, ‘Wow. I remember when I used to watch you and you’d say, I don’t know.’ Because I was a thrower. In the past, he would say, ‘What are we going to work on?’ I would say, ‘I don’t know. You tell me.’ Now I have the confidence to tell Larry, ‘I want to work on this. I want to work on that.’ I feel good with the way this is going so far.”

This is the guy who was shipped to the minor leagues last June, then won American League Pitcher of the Month for August. He’s shown the potential for starts like this one — 6.1 innings, 2 hits, no runs, no walks, 5 strikeouts — but he’s never put together a full season of consistent, high-end results. He’s always had reason to look over his shoulder.

Ivan Nova“He came back last year and was really good, and I think that was kind of the eye-opener for him,” Joe Girardi said this morning, even before watching today’s eyebrow-raising performance.

“He was up the first four or five pitches in the game,” Girardi said this afternoon, after watching Nova’s latest. “(He) made a great adjustment, got it down, then he was really, really good. … You have to make adjustments, because it’s not always going to be lights out when you go out there and you have to figure it out. I thought that was a real positive sign.”

Another positive sign? Nova’s now up to 21 strikeouts with just two walks this spring. Brian McCann, who’s seeing him first-hand for the first time, has been impressed by his ability to locate two-seamers down in the zone, and his ability to mix offspeed pitches for strikes.

“It’s location,” McCann said. “That’s pitching. If you don’t locate your pitches, you’re not going to be successful. You’ve got to have fastball command, and if you’re behind in the count, you have to be able to make tough strikes. The more times you keep the hitter out of a predictable count with the fastball, the better off you’re going to be. … He can throw get-me-over (curveballs) for strikes, and then we he gets ahead, he can go kind of anywhere he wants. And for me, his changeup is a really good pitch too, and he’s working that in righty-on-righty. I think that’s going to be a really good pitch too.”

Nova’s 27, wears braces, and insists that he not be called a veteran. He also insists that he’s not taking for granted the fact he has a spot in the rotation (which he clearly does). When he pitches like he did today, Nova smiles and says he’s happy, and he’s able to truly evaluate what he did well what he needs to improve.

“You always want to have high expectations, even better than what you expect,” Nova said. “Every time you go out there, you expect more out of yourself. Pitching the way I did last year in the second half and knowing what I did, I think I’m old enough to know what I’m doing. I’ve just got to keep my focus. I know it’s hard sometimes. Anything can happen. The way I look, it’s 35 starts that I want. I just think of it like 35 days I’ve got to be 100 percent, trying to have my best start every time out. It’s just 35 days for me.”

Associated Press photos

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21 Responses to “Nova: “I’m old enough to know what I’m doing””

  1. Against All Odds March 19th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    “I’m old enough to know what I’m doing”

    Sounds like a kid on prom night

  2. BoJo March 19th, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Against All Odds March 19th, 2014 at 5:37 pm
    “I’m old enough to know what I’m doing”

    Sounds like a kid on prom night
    ===========
    I hope he does. I let him have the car tonight.

  3. J. Alfred Prufrock March 19th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Vato comes up aces again :)

    Too bad we couldn’t see it :mad:

    Chad, did Betances pitch? I got to Burawa and then had to turn off my Iphone.

    Thanks, I’ll check to see if you give a response – or notes – in a little while.

  4. Against All Odds March 19th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    BoJo March 19th, 2014 at 5:50 pm
    Against All Odds March 19th, 2014 at 5:47 pm
    BoJo March 19th, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    ——————

    True

    But ppl take things different ways sometimes. Everyone pretty much knows how you meant. There was no malicious intent.
    ====

    I never worry about other’s thoughtds as they are beyond my control while I don’t have the Menthor helmet.

    ——————–

    You better glue that thing to your head

  5. Against All Odds March 19th, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    BoJo March 19th, 2014 at 5:47 pm
    Against All Odds March 19th, 2014 at 5:37 pm
    “I’m old enough to know what I’m doing”

    Sounds like a kid on prom night
    ===========
    I hope he does. I let him have the car tonight.

    ——————

    I smell a Dude Where’s My Car sequel

  6. BoJo March 19th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    You better glue that thing to your head
    ===
    If you see it on eBay, let me know!

  7. stillstuckey March 19th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Randy, the Mariners roster isn’t really the point, never has been. According to you it’s Montero’s abilities and Pineda’s health.

    However desperate the Mariners may or may not be is beside the point. You confident enojgh to bet on Montero’s ability to square up a baseball or aren’t you? I’m throwing you a huge bone by saying at all level.

  8. blake March 19th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Betances threw 2/3 of an inning a according to the box….1 hit, 1 walk, 0 runs

  9. Chad Jennings March 19th, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Betances went two-thirds scoreless. Gave up a hit and walked guy. I was already in the clubhouse so I didn’t actually see it.

  10. stillstuckey March 19th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Okay Randy, there was once a Mendoza line, YOU name the Montero line – the avg you’re confident a hitter with his generational bat speed should be expected to hit.

    I’m very pliable on this. Name a term.

    Your hesitation suggests a lack of confidence…

    …Randy.

  11. stillstuckey March 19th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    “you’ll make a bet on montero hitting his weight in the PCL ?”

    Sure, since it’s specific to you. He hits his weight in the PCL, you get to post. At any time he isn’t, PCL, the Majors or otherwise, you’re banned.

    I’m banned so long as Pineda is hurt. Seems perfectly fair, since Montero’s offensive abilities vs. Pineda’s uncertain health due to his delivery is what YOU are focused on.

  12. blake March 19th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Montero is gonna devour the competition this year

  13. pete2 March 19th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Montero was hitting pretty well in spring. If he was not in the doghouse he might have had a chance to make the team on opening day. Also, needs some inning at 1B before they let him get many at the ML level. Young guys sometimes just need a wakeup call to help them mature.

    Always thought it was a deal that could be a good one for both teams, just taking a bit longer for it to happen than most expected. Campos could make it a clear win for the Yankees down the road if he is healthy.

  14. stillstuckey March 19th, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Randy, done.

    blake, I understand Montero is very hungry to succeed this year.

    Honestly, however, I wish the dude well. Hope he enjoys a decent ML career starting this year.

  15. tucker March 19th, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I’m liking the way this pitching staff is shaping up. Three potential studs in their 20s — Tanaka, Nova and Pineda. Mix in the steady and effective Kuroda and CC, who will be looking to redeem himself, then you have the potential for the best starting 5 in the AL East. Plus, no more worries about Hughes.

  16. blake March 19th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    And when there were one set of footprints in the sand……Montero left to go to 5 guys

  17. BoJo March 19th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Just got through watching a TV special called “Marvel: Creating a Universe.” Definitely recommended MUST SEE TV for comic book fans here.

  18. chicken_stanley March 19th, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Montero left to go to 5 guys

    ————

    :D

  19. pkyankfan69 March 19th, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Montero left to go to 5 guys
    —————
    Nah… Montero went to a KFC/Taco Bell dual store… Satisfy 2 cravings in one trip!

  20. pkyankfan69 March 19th, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Montero should open his own burger joint

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH4rGCLx1eg

  21. Air Jordan 11 August 19th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Sometimes combined with a sharp, tingling sensation near the toes (this condition is called Morton’s Neuroma, see further below).

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