Nova Setting Up

Despite having some of the best pure stuff in the organization, Ivan Nova went just 6-8 with a 4.98 ERA for the Charleston Riverdogs last season. The numbers were better with the Tampa Yankees this season - a 4.36 ERA and twice as many strikeouts as last year - and he believes it is because he's learning how to setup batters better and use his stuff more.

"It was a positive season all throughout the year," Ivan Nova said through the help of a translator. "I had my ups and downs but it's just part of the process.

"I made better pitches this year than last year and overall I've learned how to pitch a bit better. I've had a few bumps along the way but it's been a learning experience."

While his higher ERA in the South Atlantic League season was a little worrisome, it was his less than two to one strikeout-to-walk ratio that befuddled team insiders, especially since he is armed with three above-average to plus pitches.

Unable to expand the zone and setup batters a year ago, Nova and the Yankees set forth the goal of improving in that area this season.

"It's something we've been working on," Nova admitted. "I was trying to put more guys away this year and that was a key to my success. I've learned a lot this year but I'm not quite there yet."

There's a lot to like about his improved strikeout-to-walk ratio this year, his lower batting average against, and higher ground ball out ratios, but he was still too inconsistent from start to start and Nova says improving his consistency is the next step in his development.

"I struggle a little bit with concentration," he self-analyzed. "I'll have lapses in concentration and that's when I run into trouble.

"When I don't make the right pitch to the right location I'll leave it up and my concentration lapses for a couple of pitches, that's where I still need to improve."

He allowed three earned runs or less in more than half of his games this season [17 of his 26 games], but also surrendered four earned runs or more in his remaining nine games.

It's that kind of inconsistency he's looking to correct over the offseason in preparation for the 2009 season.

"I have plans to pitch in the Dominican Winter League but it's up to the Yankees if they let me or not," he said. "Either way, I want to do a lot of physical conditioning this offseason and get stronger."

With an eye at jumping up to the the Double-A level next season, the Dominican native knows that's where he needs to make big strides - improving his pitch-ability and consistency.

"I just have to stay away from the mental lapses," he reiterated. "If I make a bad pitch I've got to be able to bounce back and make a good one on the very next pitch. If I keep my concentration, I know I can succeed."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It was a positive season all throughout the year,\" Ivan Nova said through the help of a translator. \"I had my ups and downs but it's just part of the process.
\r\n
\r\n\"I made better pitches this year than last year and overall I've learned how to pitch a bit better. I've had a few bumps along the way but it's been a learning experience.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile his higher ERA in the South Atlantic League season was a little worrisome, it was his less than two to one strikeout-to-walk ratio that befuddled team insiders, especially since he is armed with three above-average to plus pitches.
\r\n
\r\nUnable to expand the zone and setup batters a year ago, Nova and the Yankees set forth the goal of improving in that area this season.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's something we've been working on,\" Nova admitted. \"I was trying to put more guys away this year and that was a key to my success. I've learned a lot this year but I'm not quite there yet.\"
\r\n
\r\nThere's a lot to like about his improved strikeout-to-walk ratio this year, his lower batting average against, and higher ground ball out ratios, but he was still too inconsistent from start to start and Nova says improving his consistency is the next step in his development.
\r\n
\r\n\"I struggle a little bit with concentration,\" he self-analyzed. \"I'll have lapses in concentration and that's when I run into trouble.
\r\n
\r\n\"When I don't make the right pitch to the right location I'll leave it up and my concentration lapses for a couple of pitches, that's where I still need to improve.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe allowed three earned runs or less in more than half of his games this season [17 of his 26 games], but also surrendered four earned runs or more in his remaining nine games.
\r\n
\r\nIt's that kind of inconsistency he's looking to correct over the offseason in preparation for the 2009 season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I have plans to pitch in the Dominican Winter League but it's up to the Yankees if they let me or not,\" he said. \"Either way, I want to do a lot of physical conditioning this offseason and get stronger.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith an eye at jumping up to the the Double-A level next season, the Dominican native knows that's where he needs to make big strides - improving his pitch-ability and consistency.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just have to stay away from the mental lapses,\" he reiterated. \"If I make a bad pitch I've got to be able to bounce back and make a good one on the very next pitch. If I keep my concentration, I know I can succeed.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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