The New York Yankees have announced that they will move right-hander Ivan Nova to the bullpen. Nova is scheduled to and will start Friday, but after then the move will take place. Nova is 6-8 on the year with a 5.11 ERA. Nova, recovering from Tommy John surgery, made his season debut in late June, has been shaky ever since coming back.
Nova will be used as a long inning relief guy out of the bullpen for the rest of the year, while Adam Warren will most likely go into the rotation. Nova pitched well in his first start of the year, going 6.2 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies, not yielding a run. But that’s been the lone bright spot in an otherwise rough season for Nova. He has given up at least one earned run in every start since his season debut, and has had a rough September.
Nova’s last start was one to forget. He surrendered six runs, and couldn’t make it out of the second inning. Manager Joe Girardi said that the decision to move Nova to the bullpen was strictly performance based. With the playoff push in full effect, the Yankees need to make every single game count for the rest of the season, and every start has to be a great one. With Nathan Eovaldi out for a week or so more, the Yankees have been struggling to pick up wins and quality starts, so the decision to move Nova to the pen makes sense.
There is no point in the Yankees letting Nova sit in the rotation, and see which Ivan Nova decides to show up that day. The Yankees are still trailing in the division, and it looks like they will end up hosting the AL Wild Card game. Nova will have a long offseason to recover and improve his game, and then they will let him compete in spring training for a rotation spot.
When the Yankees end up using Nova out of the bullpen this year, he is going to have to give it his all. I’m sure that he is frustrated in the way he has been pitching, and rebounding in bullpen outings could be a good thing. If he performs well out of the pen, then that will help his confidence and hopefully get him back to prime for to pitch in the rotation for the 2016 season.