With Ivan Nova returning the New York Yankees rotation could now be something to deal with for the rest of the American League.
It has been an uphill battle, dealing with arms remaining healthy as well as getting pitchers back from the disabled list.
The team has struggled significantly with keeping a steady and consistent rotation in the first half of the season. If the Yankees plan on making a run for the pennant and doing damage in the playoffs, they’ll need to make sure they have their top three-starters rested and healthy.
If all goes as planned, it finally looks like they may finally have their solid three starters in play: Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and finally, now, Ivan Nova.
The team has been holding their breath while waiting for the young gun Nova to return from Tommy John Surgery.
After 14 months, Nova took the mound and hurled 6.2 scoreless innings on Wednesday, and there was nobody happier than Nova after his first outing back.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 24, 2015
Anytime your season is ended from injury it tears the soul out of you, but when a pitcher hears the word “Tommy John,” that brings on an entirely different element of fear.
The thought of not only losing a season, but knowing that the next year of your life will be dedicated to surgery, rehab and the hope that you can find your way back to the major league level can drive an athlete insane.
Coaches and staff will handle Nova with white gloves, making sure that there will be no more lost time from the injury.
For a moment it felt like Tanaka had to be perfect and win every start so the Yanks could contend.
With Nova back, it helps lift some of the weight off Tanaka and enables him to concentrate on staying healthy. Tanaka has been on and off the DL during his brief MLB tenure. The Yanks brass is keeping a tight leash on the pitcher, realizing the depth is now suddenly there.
Tanaka will not be the only pitcher to benefit from Nova’s return. Pineda has finally established himself as a solid starter for the team and continues to grow and earn his pinstripes. He has been sharp all season and from a fans perspective its fantastic watching him get his fastball back.
With all three pitchers being healthy the Yankees are in a position to find their identity as a team and take over the AL East. Ivan Nova needs to know that his return does not just make the team better but makes them contenders.
Picking up their very lackluster 4.11 ERA – ranking them 22nd in baseball – will fit nicely with their powerful offense.
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