Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tempering Expectations for Ivan Nova Today

Ivan Nova finally makes his return to a major league mound this afternoon after missing the last 14 months with Tommy John surgery. While Nova will presumably be pumped up as will his teammates and fans I think we all need to temper our expectations for Nova today and for the right hander going forward. Now I’m not saying the Yankees fan base is impatient and I’m not saying they will turn on you, temporarily at least, after one bad outing or inning (okay, yes I am saying this but I mean it with the utmost respect and love) but I am saying that the Bronx can be a tough crowd to pitch in front of when you’re not doing well wearing the pinstripes.

Let’s remember that the last things to come back for a pitcher after having his ulnar collateral ligament replaced in his elbow are the velocity and control. Nova may struggle with control this afternoon like he did in his last rehab start with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Nova may not be able to locate his breaking stuff and may not be able to blow away pitchers with a low 90’s fastball, we all need to prepare ourselves for that. Nova is not going to be the 16 game winner that he was a few seasons back in his first start off the disabled list and he will more than likely be inconsistent from inning to inning, from batter to batter and from start to start, it happens.

What will not help Nova, who if you follow him on Twitter or have been following him throughout his career, is to boo him, to tag him in hateful tweets and to generally be disrespect and a nuisance. Nova wears his heart and his emotions on his sleeve and will undoubtedly be nervous this afternoon. Show him some love while tempering your expectations for him and we will all be just fine. If you can’t do it for me, do it for the team. The Yankees need Nova back healthy and effective in the worst way if they want to make the postseason in 2015 and that climb and process begins in just two hours here in the Bronx. Frankly, I can’t wait.

Welcome back Nova!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)