That is all that the 27 year old has known throughout his time in the Majors, as there were times in 2013 that he was dominant, such as when he won the Pitcher of the Month Award in September. However, there have also been times where he has been so bad, that he should be brought down to the Minors.
Unfortunately for the Yanks, Nova was the latter this afternoon as he gave up 10 hits and seven earned runs in only 3.2 innings. Every pitcher occasionally suffers bad starts, but Nova was absolutely crushed today, and it is not hard to believe that this type of shelling will definitely occur again this year.
That is where David Phelps should come into play. Phelps lost out to teammate Michael Pineda for the final spot in the rotation, but both pitchers turned in excellent Spring Training’s and Pineda has actually had the best start for the Bronx Bombers so far this season. In fact, Phelps’ preseason ERA of 3.38 was lower than Nova’s of 3.66, and he pitched more innings than him. If anything, the fifth spot in the rotation should have been between Phelps and Nova.
Even though Phelps has struggled in the early going this season by giving up four runs in only 3.2 innings, he is not meant to be a relief pitcher. He is a starting pitcher and has been accustomed to that role since coming up to the big leagues. Therefore, it is not as much of a concern to see him struggling out of the bullpen as it is to see Nova struggling so badly with a start.
Nova bought himself some time by showing glimpses of greatness in 2013, but if he continues to be inconsistent and get occasionally slammed by opposing lineups, then it is time for Phelps to start taking the mound every fifth day for the Yanks.