Monday, May 10, 2010

Super Nova

According to Donnie Collins of the Times-Tribune in Scranton, Ivan Nova has been recalled by the Yankees. No official word yet on the corresponding move, but it's about 99.99% certain that Romulo Sanchez is heading back down.

Sanchez pitched well in his 3.2 shutout innings of relief last night. Perhaps of greater value is that he was the lone pitcher to come out of the Yankee bullpen following A.J. Burnett's four and a third inning start. Sanchez' effort saved the bullpen a day after a rain delay, Alfredo Aceves' back, and Joe Girardi's match ups forced the Yankees to burn through five relievers.

Still, the staff is a bit short with Andy Pettitte still out of play, Aceves likely needing another day off, and Sanchez needing two or three days of rest after his 52 pitch outing last night. And with Sergio Mitre limited to about 75 pitches in spot start duty tonight, and Javy Vazquez, who hasn't completed the sixth inning yet this year, starting tomorrow, the Yankees were in need of another long man.

Joe Pawlikowski at RAB astutely pointed out earlier today that this move was likely. Nova was scheduled to start for Scranton yesterday, but was flipped with Zach McAllister, indicating such a move was possible. Nova's recall leaves Scranton without a starter for tonight, the second time in four days the Yankees have left their AAA affiliate in that situation. Dustin Moseley may start on three days rest, or they may just piece this one together as a bullpen game.

An international free agent signing in 2004, Nova was selected by the Padres in the Rule 5 draft following the 2008 season, but was unable to stick on the Big League roster. Returned to the Yankees, he had a breakout 2009, making 24 starts equally split between AA and AAA and posting a 3.68 ERA. It's worth noting that he fared remarkably better in AA, where the competition is poorer and where Trenton's Waterfront Park offers a pitcher's paradise.

He was added to the Yankees' 40 man roster following last season, and is 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA through his first six starts in 2010. Nova is considered a groundball inducing pitcher, and his GB% for this year sits above 50%, just as it has throughout his career. But it's worth noting that his K rate this year is at a career high and his BB rate has dropped back to its career average after taking a jump up last season.

Here are prospect profiles on Nova from RAB and Pending Pinstripes.

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