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Ivan Nova throws six no-hit innings in statement outing

Mar 16, 2011, 9:58 PM EDT

nova pose

For players with job security, spring box scores usually mean very little. But for players auditioning for new roles, a quality stat line can mean everything.

Enter Ivan Nova.

According to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, the 24-year-old right-hander hurled six no-hit innings against the Orioles on Wednesday night in Tampa. He was on an 85-pitch limit, but he needed only 59 tosses to get through the outing and 41 of those throws went for strikes.

Nova struck out four and allowed only one baserunner via a first-inning hit by pitch. He faced 19 batters in all — one above the minimum.

The Yankees have kept a running competition this spring for the final two spots in their starting rotation and it took a while for the involved candidates to create separation. Nova is likely to capture the No. 4 spot for his stellar performance tonight and the success he has enjoyed all spring long. Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon will continue to duke it out for the final opening. The injured Sergio Mitre can probably be ruled out.

This winter might have been rough on the Yanks, but their rotation is finally coming together and looking at least somewhat promising. CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett round out the top slots.

  1. cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Had me a Nova once. T’was my first car. Nearly got me killed (thing would NOT go around a corner on all 4 wheels and don’t get me started on the brakes!) but I’ve always had a soft spot on anything called Nova. Now this here start of his is right promising but fair is fair, this is the Orioles we talking ’bout. The Orioles. Lets see what he does against the Cards or the Blue Jays, then I’ll tip my hat to him for the rotation. Good looking stats though. The kid seems scrappy. Always a good sign.

    • nixonotis - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:10 AM

      What does “scrappy” mean?

      • cur68 - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:17 AM

        Smart. Works hard. Thinks fast. Doesn’t give up. I’m saying he’s got the makings of a fine ballplayer. Oh, yeah; I like his name. Good ballplayer name.

  2. yankeesgameday - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    What do you say to a guy who is battling for a spot in the rotation when he throws a no hitter over 6 innings and you have to take him out just so other guys can get some work in during the game?

    You say, “Do you want your apartment on Central Park West or are you going to buy a place out in Jersey by CC?”

    That being said, the most important at bat of today’s game against the Orioles wasn’t Arod’s home run. No, it was the second batter of the game and Nick Swisher’s perfect execution of a hit and run with Jeter on first.

  3. uyf1950 - Mar 17, 2011 at 5:42 AM

    Good to see the kid (Nova) have an excellent outing. After his prior start I think he really needed this one. Six innings, no hits, four strike outs and a spring training ERA of 1.29
    He may have just locked up his spot in the starting rotation with this outing. Good to see the bullpen do it’s job as well and what can you say about the Yankee offense. I know it’s only spring training but this game was probably the first game all spring that everything was running on all cylinders for the Yankees.
    Just my opinion but I think the only competition left is for the 5th spot in the rotation between Garcia and Colon. Who will it be? And if they both pitch well these last two weeks do they give the spot to Garcia and ask Colon to move to the bullpen? Then there is the decision of what to do with Mitre in that case. There won’t be any room on the 25 man roster and they can’t send him to the minors. What to do?

  4. yankeesfanlen - Mar 17, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    Now what do we do with SIX starters. Great performance by Nove, however he can go to Scranton and be available at a moment’s notice. More gratifying was the offensive endeavors with the team intact for the first time.

    • uyf1950 - Mar 17, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      My friend, if Nova earns a starting spot this spring, which right now it looks like he has. he will get it. So far he has pitched the best of the 3 (including Garcia and Colon). Like i said above if all 3 continue to pitch well and can see Girardi going with Nova and Garcia as starters and seeing if Colon is willing to work out of the pen. That leaves no room for Mitre, but in the short term Mitre can stay on the roster because who knows about Joba’s injury. He may not be ready to head north. If that’s the case Mitre could take Joba’s spot in the pen at least for a short time. Anyway my point is if Nova’s earned the spot by his play he should start. They shouldn’t (and I don’t think they would) send him to Scranton just because he’s the only one with options left.

    • aburns77 - Mar 17, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      I’m not totally convinced by Nova yet despite his impressive spring. To be sure, Ivan’s looked every bit the part a guy who is deserving of a rotation spot throwing strikes and showing great stuff and a smooth delivery that will keep him from breaking down. That said, i’m troubled by his rather middling minor league numbers, combined with his inability to get major leaguers out once the lineup turns over once or twice, which make me think that he’s sort of a AAAA player, not quite a minor leaguer but not quite a major leaguer either. River Ave Blues has a great article about Nova using a slider this spring, which evidently he got three of his strikeouts on and hopefully this addition will finally give him an out pitch that will enable him to build on this performance and stick in the bronx.

  5. sportsdrenched - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    This was posted over 12 hours ago and still no mention of Aldo Nova?

  6. pisano - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    I liked what I saw in Nova last season. My friend uyf1950 if you remember I said I thought he would shine this year, and I hope I’m right. I wish I could be a little more receptive to Garcia and Colon. I still like Mitre as the fifth starter, when that sinker is on he’s really tough. To all who have doubts in him remember his arm surgery in 2008. This will be the year he stays or goes because he’s supposed to be completely healthy. I still like your take on a move at the trade deadline. It’s going to be interesting.

    • uyf1950 - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      How are you doing my friend? I do remember and I think Nova will be just fine. I don’t think he’s a front line starter but I really feel that he can and will be a very sold middle of the rotation (#3) as time goes on. I really looking forward to seeing Banuelos in the Yankee rotation next year whether it’s at the start or later on. I think in his case in a matter of just 2 or 3 years he could be the front line starter the Yankees are looking for in the future.
      One final comment my friend. I think Cashman and Girardi giving all their young prospects this spring is to showcase guys like Noesi and Pope and a couple of others as possible trade pieces come summer. Just my opinion but it makes sense.
      Also, if you want to read a good piece on possible Yankee options for trades go to the below link on yankeeanalysts it has a really interesting piece:

      • pisano - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:56 PM

        Thanks partner, I always give your opinion the utmost attention. I feel you are the most level headed and respectful poster out here. I can’t wait for Banuelos, I know it won’t happen, but I was hoping for this year, but he is too young and he is the future. Starting next year the Yankees pitching will start to form and will have to be dealt with.

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