Ivan Nova has been out since late April after his season was ended early due to Tommy John surgery, but the 27-year-old is already throwing the ball around again and is slated for a return to the New York Yankees in 2015.
Jack Curry of the YES Network reported that Nova was set to throw 25 pitches on Wednesday and that the right-hander said he felt good prior to throwing the session:
Ivan Nova is about to throw 25 pitches on flat ground. Beforehand, he said he feels good. Pointing toward 2015.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) September 3, 2014
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News had more:
Ivan Nova (Tommy John) started a throwing program last week, 25 throws at 60 feet, Mon-Wed-Fri. Will likely rehab in Tampa this offseason.
— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) September 3, 2014
If everything checks out after this rehab step, Nova can continue on the road to recovery as the 2014 season comes to an end. At this rate, he should be ready for spring training 2015, although that hasn't been determined just yet.
Before going on the shelf, Nova was pitching extremely poorly with an 8.27 ERA in four starts.
Nova, who is a notorious slow starter, was even worse than his normal self to start this year. Maybe it can be chalked up a usual poor start, but it also stands to reason that his elbow was giving him problems and helping to lead to his utter ineffectiveness.
Nova posted a promising 2013 campaign in which he pitched to a 3.10 ERA, giving hope that the Yankees had a young, up-and-coming starter on their hands. Nova's injury has put that hope on hold and in serious doubt, however he'll likely get a chance at redemption next season.
The only problem is the Yankees currently have a ton of starting pitchers to consider for next year's roster.
The acquisitions of Brandon McCarthy and Chris Capuano, along with the emergence of guys like Shane Greene and David Phelps is quickly creating a virtual logjam at the position when throwing in Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and a potentially healthy CC Sabathia next season. There is also no word yet on what Hiroki Kuroda wants to do.
Granted, most of those pitchers come with huge question marks moving forward, but manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman have an abundance of pitching, a good problem to have in Major League Baseball.
Nova hopes to add to that problem in 2015 and the Yankees wouldn't mind him doing that one bit.
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