• Ivan Not For Longva?

    Posted by on May 30th, 2011 · Comments (8)

    Via Pete Caldera -

    Manager Joe Girardi clearly was dissatisfied by Ivan Nova’s lack of aggression in Saturday night’s no-decision, and the right-hander might have a loose grip on his rotation spot. Girardi said Nova would take his next turn Friday at Anaheim, though Nova should fix the wildness he displayed in his 3 2/3-inning start at Safeco Field.

    “He has the ability to do it. He’s just not doing it,” Girardi said, noting that Nova was a predictable two-pitch pitcher Saturday without any command of his curveball. “At times he looks very, very good for us. And then at times he’s had trouble throwing strikes.” In his past four starts, Nova is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA.

    During those 18 2/3 innings, he’s yielded 30 hits and eight walks. Is that a sign of regression? “I guess we’ll have a better idea after his next start,” Girardi said. Meanwhile, ex-Cubs veteran right-hander Carlos Silva is starting at Class AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre and soon might be an option.

    I’ve found it interesting to watch Nova. There’s nothing about him that screams future star. But, I believe that he could be a useful major league pitcher and is merely dealing with the learning curve that most young pitchers have to navigate when they first make the big leagues. He’s never going to be Ramon Martinez or Joaquin Andujar. But, there’s no reason why he can’t be Nino Espinosa or Hipolito Pichardo. Of course, if the Yankees think he should be a star and not a joureyman, then his time here will be short.

    Comments on Ivan Not For Longva?

    1. LMJ229
      May 30th, 2011 | 10:37 am

      He’s still young and has shown some flashes. IMO he can be an effective mid to back of the rotation pitcher.

    2. Evan3457
      May 30th, 2011 | 11:41 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      But, I believe that he could be a useful major league pitcher and is merely dealing with the learning curve that most young pitchers have to navigate when they first make the big leagues.

      Bingo. I am rooting hard for Nova to pitch well not because I think he’s a long-term Cy Young candidate, but because the Yanks simply MUST develop some of their own in order to create a set of players they can use to complete their roster of “stars” and fill out the team. They can’t stay under their self-imposed payroll cap AND not develop some young guys as starters, or in the lineup AND still contend for the post-season. The payroll numbers simply don’t add up.

      ==================================================
      The organizations overall philosophy that it must win big, win now, every year prevents the majority of prospects from taking the last step in their development as big leaguers: overcoming the knowledge deficit that most rookies, especially starting pitchers, face in learning to use their tools in order to compete against established major leaguers.

      The latest casualty is Ian Kennedy. He might never have become a top starter at the big league level, but his minor league numbers suggest that had the Yankees been a little more patient with him, he’d have eventually developed into a decent #4 starter.

      Am I saying he shouldn’t have been traded for Curtis Granderson? No, not at all. Granderson is filling a real need, and filling it well. But had the Yanks let Kennedy complete his development at the big league level, he might have become valuable enough for the Yanks to leave Phil Coke out of the deal, or to get a decent prospect from either the Tigers or the D’backs as well as Granderson.

      By failing to maximize Kennedy’s true value, and writing him off (like many fans did), the Yanks wasted value that could’ve been converted to something else the could’ve used.

    3. Raf
      May 30th, 2011 | 12:10 pm

      Nova’s number in the minors weren’t particularly impressive, he always allowed too many baserunners. But it annoys me that the organization is willing to pull the plug on Nova but would be more than willing to give someone like Sergio Mitre numerous shots. The Yankees aren’t the only organization that would do this, but it’s a bit frustrating to watch.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      They can’t stay under their self-imposed payroll cap AND not develop some young guys as starters, or in the lineup AND still contend for the post-season. The payroll numbers simply don’t add up.

      Of course they can. Instead of going after “name” players they can go after lower tier FA’s. Perfect example was this past offseason, when they went after Soriano when they could’ve signed Jon Rauch at a fraction of the cost.

      At any rate, we’ve seen the Yankees retool, adding and subtracting salaries as needed. And they’ve gone with some combination of youth, FA’s and trades to build the team. What they’re doing now is the same thing they’ve always been doing.

      There are so many ways and directions the team can go if they choose, and they won’t lose a beat WRT contention.

    4. Evan3457
      May 30th, 2011 | 12:44 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Of course they can. Instead of going after “name” players they can go after lower tier FA’s. Perfect example was this past offseason, when they went after Soriano when they could’ve signed Jon Rauch at a fraction of the cost.

      That works in the case of Soriano because no set up reliever could possibly be worth $12 million a year. Rauch’s $4 million is at the very edge of viable salary for a set up guy, and it’s justified only because he’s proven he can be a fill-in closer.

      Mid-market free agents are much higher risks to keep performing well than top of the market free agents, who themselves have a reasonably high failure rate, especially from their mid-30′s on.

      At any rate, we’ve seen the Yankees retool, adding and subtracting salaries as needed. And they’ve gone with some combination of youth, FA’s and trades to build the team. What they’re doing now is the same thing they’ve always been doing.

      Part of what I’m saying is that the environment is changing, and it may not be possible to continue doing it that way. It’ll be a lot harder from now on because more teams have good solid management now. Look around; how many bad managements are there anymore? Royals? Nope. Mariners? Nope. Jays? Nope. The Rangers? Nope. The Rays? Nope. The O’s? Nope? Not even the Pirates are hopelessly clueless anymore. The Tigers are well-run, and so are the Red Sox, and the Angels still draft very well, even if their major league acquisition haven’t been the smartest.

      Over in the NL, the Padres, D’backs, and Rockies are well run, as are the Reds, the Brewers, the Braves, the Marlins, the Cards. The Nationals and Giants have had hot runs with their drafting in the last few years. If the Mets have the money, or maybe even if they don’t, the team of Alderson, Ricciardi and Podesta will have them competitive in 3 years or less. When the Astros are sold, they’ll dump Wade and bring in someone good. The competitive balance is extremely tough this year. So many teams are within a couple of games of .500. There’s a reason for that.

      They’re signing the guys the Yanks used to sign as top free agents (or trade for in salary dump deals) beyond their arbitration years to absorb their first couple of years of free agency. This means that when they become free agents, or are made available in trade, they become available at 29 and 30 instead of 27 and 28, which makes signing them as free agents or trading for them and signing them to a long term deal a dicier proposition.

      Look at all the top young-youngish starters in baseball; who among them is going to become available to the Yankees in the next 2-3 years? None that I can see. Now, this will backfire on some of the teams in question (the Mauer deal may be an example of this from a lineup player instead of a starter). Maybe the Josh Johnson deal for the Marlins.

      The days of David Cone for Janzen, Jarvis and Gordon are pretty much over. This reduces options, and makes any players they pick up more expensive in terms of talent, or in terms of years and dollars, or both.

      As a 2nd result, payrolls are slowly rising, except for the Yanks. Teams are now within hailing distance of the Yanks approx. $200 million payroll. While the Yanks have stayed in that range for seven years now, teams have increased revenues and are using it to hold their players who are truly valuable, the real starts.

      There are so many ways and directions the team can go if they choose, and they won’t lose a beat WRT contention.

      I think they will, unless they do one of two things. The first is increase the payroll, and with it, the luxury tax they must pay to other teams. Very few people are saying much about the Yankees payroll anymore because it hasn’t moved in 7 years. Only when they do something unprecedented and wasteful, like the A-Rod deal, or the Soriano deal, or the Jeter deal is their payroll even mentioned.

      The other is develop young, cheap players to supplement their increasingly overpaid aging stars, and it’s very hard to do that if you must win EVERY year AND hold a cap on the payroll at a time when payrolls for other teams are rising.

      I’ve mentioned before that the Yanks have $28 million coming off the books this year, and $22 next year. That’s $50 million a huge wad of cash. However, it looks like they’ll have to replace Mariano, and find offsets for the declines of A-Rod and Jeter, and possibly Swisher and Tex as well. The $12 million to Soriano may already be a sunk cost; we’ll see over the next two years plus. Some of that $50 million will go into raises for the young players they intend to keep who are already on the roster approaching arbitration: Gardner, Joba, Hughes.

      So the Yanks have to give young players a real shot, or they’ll have to lift their self-imposed cap. If they don’t do both, they won’t stay in contention; not in the merciless environment of the AL East.

    5. Evan3457
      May 30th, 2011 | 12:45 pm

      Oh, forgot this: with PEDs out of the game, the odds of older free agents remaining effective into their mid and late 30′s is much lower now as well.

    6. 77yankees
      May 30th, 2011 | 1:12 pm

      I’m starting to be alarmed at Girardi’s impatience with young pitchers. If Colon or Garcia had put up these numbers, would we be hearing their jobs were in jeopardy?

      As far as others, the only reason Hector Noesi finally got a shot was out of need in extras in Baltimore, and Lance Pendleton has been pretty much buried in the back of the pen.

      Girardi has to start working them in more with Soriano MIA and Boone Logan pitching like, well, Boone Logan. You can’t keep riding Robertson out there every day or else we’re going to have another Scott Proctor situation on our hands.

    7. Raf
      May 30th, 2011 | 2:22 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Look at all the top young-youngish starters in baseball; who among them is going to become available to the Yankees in the next 2-3 years? None that I can see.

      A lot can happen in 2-3 years. That someone like Lincecum is locked up by the Giants now doesn’t necessarily mean that in a couple of years he won’t be available in a trade.

      Well run teams or no, high caliber pitching has been moved; Lee, Halliday, Oswalt & Greinke have been moved within the past couple of years.

    8. MJ Recanati
      May 31st, 2011 | 10:34 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      There’s nothing about him that screams future star. But, I believe that he could be a useful major league pitcher and is merely dealing with the learning curve that most young pitchers have to navigate when they first make the big leagues

      I agree with this sentiment and I applaud it wholeheartedly. What I don’t understand is why you’d show more patience for Ivan Nova — a guy you don’t think will be a future star — than you do for some of the other young arms of recent years (Hughes/Kennedy, most notably).

      I’m glad you wrote this, just wondering why you don’t apply that same sentiment across the board.

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