(Courtesy of The AP)
I like that Ivan Nova recognizes that he has to change something about his approach with the way he's getting beat right now. And I appreciate that he has a plan in mind based off of what type of pitcher he is and what he knows he has to do to be successful. It's encouraging to see a pitcher this young be so upfront about his performance. But I question whether this change in approach would be the right change to make.
“It doesn’t matter if I get a strikeout or not. I used to pitch with a lot of ground balls. This year I haven’t. I guess I’ve just got to go back and do exactly the same thing as last year, getting my ground balls and a strikeout when you need it.” (Nova after yesterday's game)
I see what you're trying to do there, Ivan. You're trying to go back to what's given you the most success in the past. But what you're forgetting is that strikeouts do matter and they're way better than groundouts. Any time you're getting an out without giving the hitter a chance to put the ball in play, that's a good thing. The strides you've made over the past year to improve your stuff and your control to get more strikeouts (career-high 9.55 K/9 this season) and cut down on your walks (career-low 2.94 BB/9 this season) are both positive strides. That's what has raised your ceiling from a back-of-the-rotation depth arm to a potential above-average #3 starter. You want to keep doing that.