New York Yankees: Is Something Wrong with Ivan Nova?

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IApril 3, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Starting pitcher Ivan Nova #47 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

With the start of the season only days away, Ivan Nova doesn't appear to be getting any stronger for the New York Yankees, if his last outing of spring training is any indication.

So is there something wrong?

Coming into his start against the New York Mets, Nova was 1-2 with a 6.86 ERA. He allowed 15 earned runs in 19.2 innings pitched this spring.

But it didn't get any better facing the Mets.

Nova went 2.2 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits in his last tune-up before the new year begins. It was easily one of his worst starts of 2012 so far.

Nova's confidence seemed to take a hit after the beat down, according to Sweeney Murti of WFAN.

"Today was one of the worst days of my life…I felt good today but I couldn't throw strikes."--Ivan Nova.

Funny that this comes on the day when Nova was picked by Joe Girardi to be the Yanks No. 4 starter even though he had the worst numbers of any starter on the team. If not for a 16-win season and an injury to Michael Pineda, Nova might be looking at missing out on the rotation.

Don't be shocked if Nova is the odd man out when Andy Pettitte finally returns. As we all know, nothing is promised when you're a starting pitcher with the Yankees who isn't making a lot of money.

Nova's struggles during the spring are a new thing for the young right-hander. He had a much better spring in 2011 going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and four earned runs in 20 innings pitched.

He had the best numbers of any starter this time last year.

Whatever it may be bugging him, Nova will have time to solve it during the regular season.

Maybe the pressure of a game that means something will help motivate a guy like Nova whose been known to respond well in tough spots.