Ivan Nova is surging lately. The former Yankee pitcher is blossoming since his trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With the Yankees he was hyped as one of the big prospects. During the parts of seven seasons that he played with the Bronx Bombers, his ERA was below four twice. For the rest his ERA was (way) above four. Nevertheless he showed flashes of brilliance at times. In those games you thought “Man, he is the real deal.” But then again in the next game he could have trouble in finding the strike zone or he could just lack control. It sometimes even happened that in the first few innings of a game he was practically unhittable and then in the very same game he could struggle all of a sudden.
At some point you could imagine that the Yankees did not know what to do with him. Bullpen or rotation? And perhaps this moving around did not help his cause either.
Of 21 appearances, he started 15. He won seven and lost six. His ERA stood at 4.90, his opponents hit .276 and his WHIP stood at 1.36.
But since his trade to the Pirates, there is a difference like day and night. Nova is thriving. Since his trade he has an ERA of 2.53 and a WHIP of 0.93. Since being acquired by the Pirates he has pitched two complete games. Last night he kept the Cincinnati Reds limited to six hits.
You can only wonder what the reason for this turnaround is. Did he have a problem with the pressure of playing in New York? Is the Yankees’ eye for talent just not as good as you hope it is? Are they just impatient? Or is the pitching coach doing more damage than good? It could be a combination these things.
Yes, the Yankees are impatient at times but they kept Nova on their roster for seven seasons so in his case you cannot say that they were impatient. Their eye for talent is obvious. Why else was he in their organization for years? The pitching coach? Well you could have read a blog post on that subject a few days ago. The pressure of playing in New York? It must be something like it. Why else does his talent pan out all of a sudden? But let’s wait for next year to see if he still will be this good and is the talent that the Yankees once hoped for.