From Donnie Collins:
Ivan Nova, whose regular turn in the rotation would have been yesterday, has been called to New York, where he’ll undoubtedly serve as the long reliever for a few days. A move was expected after Romulo Sanchez went several innings last night. Tonight’s starter, Sergio Mitre, is on a 65-75 pitch count. Tomorrow’s, Javier Vazquez, has been ineffective all season. Sanchez would have been unavailable tonight, and probably tomorrow, too.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nova, EJ rated him 10th among Yankee prospects this past winter, which is exactly where he landed in a composite list made by Sean at Pending Pinstripes that averaged rankings from various sources. For a brief scouting report, here is what our own Eric Schultz said about Nova in a recent post:
Nova is coming off a solid season in 2009 in which he dominated at AA Trenton (2.36 ERA, and a 2.47 GO/AO ratio), but struggled somewhat upon being promoted to AAA Scranton (5.10 ERA). Nova has always been a player whose stuff and scouting reports have been more impressive than his actual results. He has been able to many groundball outs with his low-90’s fastball, but his above-average changeup and curveball have not developed into bona fide strikeout pitches yet, although they have potential. In 2010, Nova is pitching to prove that he has a future in a major league rotation, and he could be one of the first callups should a member of the Yankees’ rotation succumb to injury. He could also wind up as trade bait, though given his inability to strike out hitters at a high rate, he is likely more of a throw-in than a centerpiece at this juncture.
Thus far in 2010, Nova is 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA (3.29 FIP), 1.27 WHIP, and a 2.67 K/BB ratio for AAA Scranton. He is striking out batters at a higher rate than ever before (7.8 SO/9) while cutting his walk rate by about 1 full walk per 9 innings when compared to 2009 (3.8 to 2.9), an improvement in the area of weakness that made some skeptical about his long term prospects. These numbers come in an admittedly small sample, and what is likely to be a short MLB stint will not give us an opportunity to judge his major league readiness. That said, it is good to see the organization giving him a taste of the big league experience, and hopefully he can build some confidence and be ready to contribute in a larger role in 2011.
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