For some strange reason, the Ivan Nova that was tearing up major league batting last season has not returned. Instead of being someone the New York Yankees can rely on, he has become a shaky pitcher, and that is why when Nova returns from the disabled list, he is better off in the bullpen.
The Yankees activated Nova off the disabled list Friday. He has dealt with inflammation in his right triceps and will fill in for Dellin Betances, who was sent back down to the minors.
This season, Nova has started all four games he has pitched in. He has a 6.48 ERA and has struck out 18 batters in 16.2 innings. After going 16-4 in 2011 and 12-8 in 2012, the 26-year-old right-handed pitcher needs reworking in the bullpen.
Joe Girardi and his coaching staff have to do something to get Nova back on track because if Vidal Nuno continues to pitch well, there is no way Nova is going to get back into the rotation, especially with Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda both slated to return soon.
Nova has to regain confidence somehow and working along side Mariano Rivera and David Robertson will certainly do that. Working with both of those guys is the only way for Nova to learn what he is doing and not doing well. There is no doubt that the guy needs work on his stuff, and the players around him are fully capable of helping him out.