Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nova's Rotation Spot Already On Shaky Ground

(Forever alone.  Courtesy of the AP)

I have to admit, I was a little surprised to read that the Yankees are planning on skipping Ivan Nova in the rotation tonight after last night's rain-out in order to keep Phil Hughes and the rest of the rotation on schedule.  On the surface it makes sense to want to keep everybody else on their routine or as close to it as possible, but shouldn't that logic apply to Nova as well?  And if you really stop and think about it, wouldn't an extra day or two of rest be a good thing for a "still kinda recovering from elbow surgery" CC Sabathia and older pitchers like Kuroda and Pettitte?

To me, this decision to skip Nova and keep everyone else on schedule at his expense is a sign that the coaching staff is not as confident in Nova as they are the rest of the group right now.  After a strong start to his spring camp, Nova's final two starts were similar to many of his 2012 outings were he got knocked around.  His first regular season start wasn't much better, so based on a sample size of over a full season's worth of starts it would make sense for Nova to be on a short leash.

Still, the quick-trigger timing of this skip over is puzzling.  It would be one thing if this were September and the Yankees wanted to keep their best pitchers lined up to face teams they were competing against for a playoff spot.  That's hardly the case eight games into the season, which leads me to believe Nova is already in danger of losing his spot in the rotation.  He needs to come up with a much better performance in his next start, whenever that may be, to establish some control over that spot.

Why Is Brennan Boesch Getting Work At First Base?

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

And why are all my Brennan Boesch-based posts titled in the form of a question?  Last week it was wondering how and if Joe was planning on using Boesch at all after he didn't get much burn in the first few games.  This week it's trying to figure out what the rationale is in Boesch getting worked out at first base before the last few games.  He's never played a game at first in his professional career, and according to Boesch he hasn't played it since high school.  The Yankees, even with Teix out of the picture for the near future, are pretty well covered at first right now with Lyle Overbay and Kevin Youkilis, and there are a few other guys on the roster who make more sense as an emergency option over Boesch.  So why look to add another body to the position so early in the season?  And why Boesch?

Sherman Reports What Any Smart Person Already Knew About The Ichiro Deal

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

In a blog post yesterday discussing the Yankees' outfield situation, Joel Sherman dropped this juicy little note about the decision to re-sign Ichiro Suzuki this past offseason:

"There was not unanimity in the Yankees front office about bringing back Ichiro Suzuki, specifically on a two-year contract. In fact, there were executives who would have preferred to see that money (two years at $12 million) directed to Russell Martin instead."

Sherman also wrote that the "top of the Yankees hierarchy" demanded that Ichiro be re-signed after his strong finish to last season, and if you start to put those pieces together it starts to look like this was another "Cashman vs. Ownership" front office battle in which Cash came out on the losing side.

More after the jump.