During the winter before 2008 spring training, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Ivan as 18th-best prospect in the Yankees organization. They ranked Nova as 30th-best in the Padres organization in the spring of 2009, after San Diego chose him in the Rule 5 Draft. (But the Padres returned him to the Yanks at the end of spring training.)
In the spring of 2010, Baseball America had Nova at 16th-best in the Yankees farm system. And he was at #13 in the winter before 2011 spring training.
- Nova is confident. During his first career big league start on August 23, 2010 in Toronto, he fired a fastball over Jose Bautista’s head. When Bautista glared at him, Nova glared right back.
“Kid didn’t back down,” Yankee manager Joe Girardi said. “Loved it.”
Nova has a strong sense of responsiblity. His friends, family (especially his mother, Altagracia), and many of the residents of his town of Palenque in the Dominican Republic are excited about his career. In November 2010, when Ivan returned home, almost everyone in town cheered while music blared and people danced.
And Ivan does not want to let them down.
When he was growing up, Ivan's father, Manuel, managed a restaurant on a beach in the Dominican Republic. To make ends meet, Nova and his four siblings slept in the same bed and often worked in their father's restaurant.
- In 2005, Nova signed with Yankees scouts Victor Mata and Carlos Rios, out of the Dominican Republic.
December 11, 2008: The Padres chose Nova out of the Yankees organization during the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings.
But on March 29, 2009, the Padres returned Ivan to the Yankees.
January 28, 2016: The Yankees and Nova avoided arbitration agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.1 million with bonus performances.
August 1, 2016: The Pirates sent two players to be named later to the Yankees for Nova.
- Dec 23, 2016: Nova agreed to a three-year deal with the Pirates for $26 million.
|Birth City:||Pelenque, D. R.|
|Draft:||2005 - Yankees - Free agent|
|2005||DSL||Dom. Summer Lg||11||39||29||38||11||7||0||0||0||0||1||0.2||2.29|
Nova has an 89-92 mph two-seam SINKER, and a 90-97 mph four-seam FASTBALL, a good two-plane 79-82 mph power CURVEBALL, and solid arm speed with his decent 85-88 mph CHANGEUP that gets lefty hitters out. (May 2016)
Sometimes his curve is a real hammer, but he is inconsistent with it. One scout said it grades out between a 40 and a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale—that's how much variation it has in quality, or lack of same. When it is on, it is a weapon against both lefthanded and righthanded hitters.
2015 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 20% of the time; Sinker 452% of the time; Change 5.2%; and CURVE 29.7% of the time.
Ivan needs to gain a better aptitude for the pitching craft. But he could develop into a solid #3 or #4 starter. He just needs to learn how to set hitters up and get them to chase balls out of the zone when he is ahead in the count.
He also needs to pitch inside on the hitters—especially the lefthanded ones, more efficiently.
- Nova throws strikes most of the time.
Ivan doesn't have much deception with his rather long delivery, making him more hittable. But he throws from a good downhill plane, throwing strikes more consistently.
He can rush his delivery and lose his feel for his release point, and thus the strike zone, and he's more hittable when he falls behind in the count. (But so is every other pitcher.)
- Ivan Nova has great overall command and control. He has developed into a solid starting pitcher at the Major League level.
On August 29, 2010, after getting his first MLB victory in just his second start, Nova talked about pitching in the Majors.
"No pressure, I'm just having fun," Nova said. "If you put in your mind it's like a Triple-A game, you can just keep pitching your game and everything is going to be fine."
In 2013 spring camp, Nova altered his arm action to a tighter motion, which has been inducing more downhill plane on his fastball.
- 2016 Improvements: Not wanting to leave any stone unturned as he competed for the Yankees' rotation slot, Ivan Nova has dusted off an old friend during spring training, rediscovering a cutter that might just make the difference in his battle for a spot in the rotation He said that this was his second time throwing the cutter, which he scrapped prior to having Tommy John surgery.
"In 2012, I quit and said I'm not throwing that anymore because sometimes I feel like my elbow is getting tight, and then I lost the confidence," Nova said. "It wasn't coming out really well so I decided to stop throwing it. And now that I feel the way I feel now, I just took it back." (Bryan Hoch - MLB.com - March 2016 )
- As of the start of the 2017 season, Nova had a career record of 58-41 with a 4.30 ERA, having allowed 842 hits and 96 home runs in 793 innings.
- Mid-August 2008: Nova was on the D.L. for a week.
- Mid-August 2009: Ivan was on the D.L. He was back about a week later.
- July 20, 2011: An injured ankle put Nova on the D.L. He tried to field a comebacker.
- October 6, 2011: Nova suffered a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right forearm in the second inning of the ALDS Game 5. Ivan was examined by Yankees team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad at New York Presbyterian Hospital and underwent an MRI, which revealed the injury. The Yankees said they expected the injury to "heal without complications" during the offseason before 2012 spring training.
August 23-September 8, 2012: Ivan was on the D.L. after an MRI revealed inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Nova said he first felt discomfort—which he called "stiffness"—in his shoulder facing his last batter against the White Sox the night before.
Medication and rest were prescribed, along with not playing catch for five days.
- April 26-May 24, 2013: Nova was on the D.L. with inflammation in his right triceps, revealed by an MRI.
April 20-end of 2014 season: Ivan was on the D.L. when an MRI revealed a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. Surgery was recommended.
And he did undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews on April 30, 2014, in Birmingham.
Nova was was activated on June 23, 2015.