Before Michael Pineda landed himself on the DL, there was talk that Ivan Nova‘s spot in the Yankees rotation might be in jeopardy. After all, he had options left and was having a hard time with his command throughout spring training.
That wasn’t a problem on Monday night as he didn’t walk a single batter though seven innings and even seemed to get better as the situations got tougher. It was just another lesson that spring training stats don’t matter.
“(Nova) was great,” Russell Martin explained to Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “Just located his fastball both sides of the plate, elevated when he needed to, he gets his curveball in there nicely, sprinkled a couple of sliders. He was just in control and getting ahead of hitters and when you do that you’re going to be successful.”
It’s certainly too early to make a decision, but the Yankees starters are pitching for their jobs here in April. Andy Pettitte will be back by May and Pineda will not be far behind him. If Nova can continue to pitch the way he did on Monday night, it’ll be hard to justify removing him from the rotation which could be bad news for Phil Hughes.