Ivan Nova's early-season extra base hit issues took a backseat to a lot of other storylines over the past 2 months, but they've still always been there and are starting to become more problematic again. Nova gave up 4 doubles and 1 triple last night, and in his 4 July starts he has allowed 14 total XBH in 24.2 IP, accounting for 45.16% of the total hits Nova has given up this month. Nova's very good at limiting damaged when he puts runners on, but it's hard to overcome that many XBH.
For the season, Nova is still the AL leader in XBH allowed with 64, and he's comfortably ahead of second place man James Shield (52). Nova has only walked 7 batters this month, so he's clearly made strides in improving his control and has seen some positive results from it. But his command of his stuff is still not a great strength, and Nova's ability to establish some consistency there and locate pitches better inside the strike zone is what will determine whether he can be more than a #4 starter.
Five Years Later: The 2008 Draft
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