“I’m going to win,” Ivan Nova said. “I don’t worry about if they’re pitching tomorrow or what’s going to happen with them. I worry about me.”
“I didn’t throw too good today, but mentally, I feel good,” said Nova, who has now allowed two runs in eight spring innings. “That’s the more important thing.”
Just because Nova feels that way doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true, but it is good that his confidence is strong as all you need to do is look at A.J. Burnett‘s 2010 season to realize how important confidence is when pitching. Still it seems that Nova has a realistic chance.
He’s battling Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon for the rotation spot. There are others supposedly in the mix, but it is going to come down to those three. Assuming that both Colon and Garcia stay healthy through the spring it seems that the Yankees would go with them and stick Nova in the bullpen as the long-man or in the minor leagues.
It is possible that Nova could win a rotation spot and the Yankees would either cut one of Garcia or Colon or they could use Colon in the bullpen as the long-man (Colon has expressed a willingness to stay on as a long-man, Garcia has not). It seems though that if the Yankees believed enough in Colon to keep him on the roster that they would just use him in the rotation. It also seems that they may prefer to slowly break Nova in through the bullpen before trusting him as a starter over 200 innings.
Either way, this is a bit premature right now as there are still two weeks left in spring training and a lot can happen between now and then.