Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pittsburgh blog names Ivan Nova the Pirates' Cy Young

On the exciting, red-letter day that we re-signed pitching coach Larry Rothschild - (cue the Canyon of Heroes parade! We grabbed him by his p---y!) the case against signing Larry Rothschild popped up in Pittsburgh: Pirates fans celebrated the Yankee trade that sent them Ivan Nova for a pair of low-level prospects.

Says the Rum Bunter, which names Nova the Pirates pitcher of the year...

Ivan Nova wound up making 11 starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In these 11 starts he pitched 64 2/3 innings. And these 11 starts he made in Pittsburgh was the best 11 start stretch of his Major League career.
Nova finished with a 3.06 ERA, 2.62 FIP, and a 3.13 xFIP, all of which led the Pirates’ starting pitching staff. He also averaged 7.24 K/9, he allowed just four home runs, walked just three batters, and he posted a 1.10 WHIP as a Pirate. Ivan Nova also pitched a complete game in three of his 11 starts with the Pirates.
During his tenure in Pittsburgh Ivan Nova posted a 52.3 percent ground ball rate as a Pirate. This ground ball rate was higher than his ground ball rate in four of his seven Major League seasons.
Due to all of this Nova posted a 1.9 WAR as a member of the Pirates. This was the second highest WAR of any Pirates’ pitcher in 2016 behind just Gerrit Cole (2.5).

I know what you're thinking: WTF? That's Ivan Nova he's talking about. Doesn't he know that if the season lasted 11 more starts, Nova would pitch his way to a 6-plus ERA? Doesn't he realize that Nova is a living embodiment of the random sample, a roll of the dice, and that you can't count on him for anything, ever, always, through eternity, or death do us part?

Well, I dunno, anymore. There was a time when players became Yankees and upped their games accordingly. In recent years, that's gone out the window. They're just as likely to leave NY and become stars. Nova enters the 2017 free agent market as one of the best pitchers available, but we sure won't be nibbling.

Which brings me to Larry Rothschild. And first, let's be clear: The Yankees certainly know more about pitching than we do, and Joe Girardi has reached a comfort level with Rothschild, and that's not worth nothing, right? So Larry will return for another year of -what? Michael Pineda? The collapsing bullpen? The vanishing rotation? And most of all, how did we go so long with Nova and get so little from him - guy was a roller coaster - and then watch him suddenly improve so much... and how does this happen without some self-exploration within our own management? What happened? Was it a language barrier? Was it an attitude thing? Was it generational? Was it simply a case of Nova getting a re-set button in a new city? (If so, why couldn't we press the re-set button?)

Listen: I was all in on jettisoning Ivan Nova, and I didn't care what we got for him. The guy needed an airplane ticket, and everybody knew it. Still, why couldn't we wrangle those solid starts out of him? Why did he have to leave to be good? Next season, there will be another Ivan Nova - his name is Michael. Did we learn anything?

2 comments:

John M said...

National League, pitchers bat, stopping rallies with easy outs, free agency year, yadda yadda. Let's see how he does when he has a fat contract in his pocket and maybe is back in the AL or somewhere there is actual pressure or expectations for the team to win. Yadda yadda yadda. Pineda is still a head case. Girardi is the problem, anyway. Yadda.

Anonymous said...

YOU'RE RIGHT JOHN.....THE NATIONAL LEAGUE HAS BECOME A BREEDING GROUND FOR WASHED UP, SPENT, AMERICAN LEAGUE PITCHERS......FOR EXAMPLE, JOHNNY CUETO HAD A 2.60 ERA PAST MID SEASON WHEN HE WAS TRADED TO THE AL....... HE PITCHED THE REST OF LAST SEASON TO, I BELIEVE, OVER A 5 ERA.......THIS SEASON HE GOES BACK TO THE NL, AND HE'S BACK IN THE LOW 2'S AGAIN.......IVAN NOVA COULD NOT GET PAST 5 INNINGS WITH US...HE GOES TO THE NL, AND NOW HE IS PITCHING COMPLETE GAMES!!!....... IT'S MUCH MORE THAN JUST A "CHANGE OF SCENERY" .....