Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, it is worth asking the question; does Ivan Nova have a guaranteed spot in the Opening Day rotation? Joe Girardi says he doesn’t, but he also says Michael Pineda doesn’t either, which doesn’t pass the chuckle test. As stated above, Pineda was an All-Star last season who struck out over 9 batters per nine innings with a sub 3.00 BB/9 and should be ready to pitch ~200 major league innings at this point in his development. Changeup or no changeup, Pineda is going to be one of the Yankees’ five starters when the regular season rolls around, unless perhaps something goes terribly wrong over the rest of this month.
Is Nova in the same boat? He did finish the season strongly after being recalled from Triple-A in late July, strong enough to win the designation of being the team’s second starter in the ALDS, but he also rocked a 4.50 ERA as late as June 3rd, and even in that stretch of good pitching to end the season, his peripherals suggest there will likely be some level of regression down to the mean from that.… Click here to read the rest