Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Nova-Centric Mini-Linkapalooza

After last night's fantastic first 4 innings and meltdown of a 5th, Ivan Nova has now become the wildest of wildcards in the Yankee pitching pecking order, both for the remainder of this season and looking to the playoffs.  Naturally, Nova was a hot topic of discussion around the blogosphere and the best in the business were all over it.

- First, Chad a LoHud takes a look at what caused things to fall apart for Nova last night.  Particularly telling about how Nova's starts have gone was this inning-by-inning comparison:

First inning: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K — 1.80 ERA
Second inning:
5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K — 0.00 ERA
Third inning:
5 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K — 3.60 ERA
Fourth inning:
5 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K — 3.60 ERA
Fifth inning:
4.1 IP, 11 H, 3 BB, 4 K — 18.69 ERA
Sixth inning:
2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 0 K — 0.00 ERA

- Building on that breakdown was Joe Paw's piece on RAB examining Nova's approach the second and third times through the order last night.  As Joe states, Nova's strong starts to outings and struggling finishes point more to his inexperience than flaws in his stuff.

- Building on his own dissection of Nova's outing last night, Joe Paw followed up his first post with another questioning Nova's potential effectiveness out of the bullpen in the postseason.  His .194/.275/.306 tripleslash against in the first 2 innings of each outing this year and his .238/.327/.429 tripleslash against with runners on base could be good predictors of success in shorter outings, small sample size aside.

- Stephen R. at TYU takes the 'Nova out of the 'pen' concept a bit further by comparing Nova to all the other options for the 10th and 11th playoff pitching staff spots.  I agree with Stephen that Javy is making the roster one way or another, but Nova could very well be the best option for the "other" long man role.

He's hit a few bumps in the road lately, but I'm still very high on Nova.  His stuff has played up extremely well against Major League hitters and he thinks and operates on the mound mentally better than a 23-year-old rookie should.  Teams are starting to learn his approach right now and they're keying in on him, so he clearly has some work to do, but Nova should still be considered a vital option for the Yanks as either a starter or a reliever.  And since I can't say it any better than these guys already have or point to any advanced stats that they haven't already come up with, I'll just do what I do best and end this with the "Nova the Terrible" Photoshop picture.

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