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Yankees demote Ivan Nova to Triple-A

May 31, 2013, 4:55 PM EDT

New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova reacts after giving up a solo home run to Detroit Tigers left fielder Delmon Young in the first inning of Game 5 of their MLB American League Division Series baseball playoffs at Yankee Stadium in New York Reuters

Ivan Nova went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA for the Yankees as a 24-year-old in 2011, convincing quite a few people that he was a future star, but he’s been terrible since then and now he’s headed back to Triple-A.

Nova, who hasn’t pitched in the minors since 2011, was demoted in tandem with the Yankees activating Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira from the disabled list. They needed to make space on the roster and Nova has a 5.16 ERA in four starts and two relief appearances after posting a 5.02 ERA in 28 starts last year.

He’ll no doubt be back and if the Yankees have truly soured on Nova they could almost surely get something for him in trade, especially since his 179/66 K/BB ratio in 193 innings since 2012 is a whole lot better than his ERA. At age 26 he still has plenty of upside, but the Yankees are predictably running out of patience.

  1. Jack Marshall - May 31, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Maybe they’ll him for Daniel Bard. The Red Sox might even throw in Aceves.

    • pisano - May 31, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Jack…. I’ll bet the Yankees would be all over that deal, but the Sox wouldn’t go that route.

  2. mazblast - May 31, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Sometimes the baseball people, who want to use the players who are playing the best, do get their way. Nova was showing no signs of returning to his 2011 form, and perhaps a dose of AAA humility and low-pressure work will do the trick.

    • bigharold - May 31, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      I think Nova is going back to get him some regular starts, .. and low pressure situations wouldn’t hurt. At one point, he struck out the side on 9 pitches.

      The guy isn’t going anywhere, he can pitch he just needs polish.

      • jwbiii - May 31, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        This is his last option year, so he better get done what he needs to get done soon.

    • ctony1216 - Jun 1, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Nova’s biggest problem is he can’t repeat his delivery. Hopefully, this trip to the minors will help him straighten that out. And hopefully, the Yankees have someone down at Scranton who can help him fix the problem. Sending him down without a plan to fix his mechanics is pointless.

      Nova has tremendous upside. When he’s pitching well, it’s usually because his mechanics are solid for a stretch of two or three of more innings. Then, when the wheels come off, guys get on base, he changes his delivery. Picks up the catcher’s mitt later, his stride gets a little off center, weird things happen. If the Yanks can help him fix those things, they’ll have a pretty solid No. 4/5 starter.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 31, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Man, but imagine what they would have done to him if The Boss were still alive….

  4. dondada10 - May 31, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Wait a second. Nova just pitched in the Mets series and looked good. He had an inning where he struck out the side on 9 pitches.

  5. randygnyc - May 31, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Nova went down because tex and Youklis were activated. He has options left. This was announced as temporary

  6. jwbiii - May 31, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Vidal Nuno also optioned.

  7. uyf1950 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    Sending Nova and Nuno down to Triple A certainly wasn’t unexpected. The Yankees were carry to many pitchers on their active roster anyway and with Pettitte expected to be activated on Monday, Nova and Nuno were the expendable ones. My guess is when Pettitte does get activated one of these 3 will be sent to the minors as well: Adams, Brignac or Nix. I’m thinking it’s Adams that goes down. He has cooled off offensively since his initial call up and Nix has actually performed very well offensively over the last 2 weeks roughly. Just my opinion.

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