After being named AL Pitcher of the Month for August, and compiling a record of 7-5 with an ERA of 2.70 upon his return to the majors in the second half of last season, the Yankees were confident pitcher Ivan Nova had turned the corner for good. So confident in fact, that the Yankees decided to name Nova to their starting rotation outright this spring, the first time in his young career that Nova didn’t have to fight for a rotation spot.
However, things haven’t quite gone according to plan. Nova allowed seven earned runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings in losing to the Orioles Tuesday, after walking five in 5 2/3 in his first start in Houston. Nova only gave up two runs in that game and was the winner, but in this game, he couldn’t minimize the damage, and the Yankees ended up losing 14-5.
Through two starts, Nova has a team high ERA of 8.68 “I don’t feel good when you pitch that way with the good spring training that I had,” Nova said. “It’s only the second time. I have plenty of time to fix it and get back to where I want to be.” Nova has showed a lack of control so far. However, manager Joe Girardi is optimistic Nova can get back to dominating his opponents. “I wouldn’t make too much out of two starts,” Girardi said. “I know it’s glaring in the beginning. I know he’s more than capable of turning this around and being a big-time pitcher for us.” While it’s still too early to push the panic button, with other starting options such as Adam Warren, Vidal Nuno, and David Phelps lurking in the bullpen, Nova should be on high alert for his job security.