(Courtesy of Reuters)
With his 15-day DL stint winding down and the make-up doubleheader against Cleveland scheduled for Monday, the prevailing thought is that Ivan Nova will be activated to pitch one of those games. Joe didn't fully commit to it before last night's game, acknowledging that the team would first want to make sure Nova came through today's ExST outing without issue before making the decision. Assuming the reports from that outing all come back positive, however, the combination of timing and situation makes too much sense for it not to happen.
Nova wasn't pitching particularly well prior to hitting the DL. Joe's short leash was a clear indication that he had lost confidence in Nova, and rumblings had already started about the security of Ivan's rotation spot. A return to pitch in a situation of need like a doubleheader is not a guarantee that Nova will get his rotation spot back, especially if he pitches poorly, but assuming he will be back and David Phelps is heading back to the bullpen here's what Nova needs to do to nail down that spot.