Nova throws minor league game on off-day

Ivan+Nova

Almost everyone had the off-day today–well, except for Ivan Nova, Francisco Cervelli and a few other Major League players looking to get at-bats. Ivan Nova pitched in a Spring Training game for Low-A Charleston earlier this morning in one of his final tune-ups before the season.

Nova went eight scoreless innings with ten strikeouts and one walk, throwing 91 pitches in his outing. Nova’s curveball was effective and admits when he would work on pitches in minor league games, he would get hit very hard. Today wasn’t the case.

“Besides this one right here that I threw today, every time I come down here I get hit,” Nova said. “I used to come down here and work on my fastball command. Today, I came ready to work on my offspeed: my curveball, my changeup, my two-seamer. I work really good today, and I got a good result.”

Nova’s curveball was moving everywhere and he was able to fool the hitters at the plate. He also said he was impressed with how his changeup was developing.

“The changeup this spring has been a really good pitch,” Nova said. “And I continue to throw the way I’ve thrown my changeup, I think it will help a lot this season.”

Some Notes:

Joe Girardi said he’s made a decision as to who will be the fifth starter, but he won’t announce it until tomorrow and after he’s told the players involved in the competition. He also wouldn’t commit as to who would be the starter for tomorrow night’s game. (It’s supposed to be David Phelps but all depends on if he won the spot in the rotation or not).

— Brian Cashman confirmed Jacoby Ellsbury will play in a minor league game tomorrow afternoon. He’ll be the DH in the game.

— Girardi hasn’t made any decisions on the Yankees bullpen and could possibly wait until the weekend to finalize it.

— The Yankees announced CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova will all pitch against the Astros while Masahiro Tanaka will start against the Blue Jays to open the season.

— Girardi said Chris Leroux will start on Wednesday, CC will start Thursday, Kuroda will start Friday and Nova will start Saturday so the three of them can lineup for the opening series. Tanaka is also supposed to pitch Saturday, so it’s possible the Yankees give Tanaka the big league start and Nova pitches at the minor league complex.

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