New York Yankees: Could Ivan Nova's Struggles Lead to August Waiver Trade?
Remember last year, when Ivan Nova didn't lose in the second half of the season?
That seems like a long time ago, because right now, the Yankees would do anything to have that same pitcher back on the mound.
Instead, Nova has been downright awful for the Yankees, pitching with an 8.36 ERA since the All-Star break, and has not won a game since July 8.
We're talking a full month now since Nova picked up a win.
Since then, he's 0-3 and his ERA has sky-rocketed from 3.92 to 4.81, which is terrible.
In his last two starts for the Bombers, he's given up a total of 16 earned runs in 10.1 innings, both losses to the Orioles and Tigers.
And as of Tuesday night, the Yankees' lead in the American League East has been reduced down to 4.5 games over the surging Baltimore Orioles, who have won four in a row and their last seven of 10 games.
Now, Phil Hughes has been pitching much better for the Yankees, but even he has ran into some trouble recently, getting his pitch count very high in Tuesday night's loss to the Tigers.
But I won't throw Hughes under the bus this time. Nova, on the other hand, does get thrown under it.
Some felt that Nova might be able to step up into the No. 2 pitching spot for the Yankees in 2012, but he's far from being that kind of starter for the Yankees.
Should the Yankees look to make a waiver claim in August for a starting pitcher?
Right now, Nova's lucky he has his spot in the rotation. But with a few more starts like this, you really have to wonder if Yankees GM Brian Cashman can take any more of it.
And what if Nova continues to have a horrid second half that keeps spiraling out of control? If the Yankees want to keep themselves in the pennant race, they can't keep having Nova out there serving up meatballs to opposing hitters.
So, could Cashman look into an August waiver wire deal if Nova continues this trend?
They can't put Freddy Garcia back in the rotation because he's already there due to Andy Pettitte's injury. He is due to return in September.
Plus, the team would prefer to keep rookie David Phelps as the long reliever out of the bullpen, a job that suits him.
Adam Warren is not an option right now, especially after he failed in his first attempt as a major league starter; the last thing the Yankees need to do is attempt to insert him into a pennant race with one start under his belt.
Two years ago, the Yankees nearly pulled off a waiver deal for Ted Lilly because Javier Vazquez stunk for the Yankees, but the Dodgers pulled him back at the last second, nixing a deal.
Cashman could look into an August deal.
I suggested Cliff Lee, but the Dodgers made a claim first and the Phillies decided to pull Lee back.
I had also suggested Josh Johnson, a trade I, and many others, would love to see happen, but in all honesty, if Johnson got put on waivers, would he make it to the Yankees? Probably not.
So, who's out there that could actually help?
At this point, it's hard to tell without many teams putting pitchers on waivers, but you know Cashman is always scouting and watching the waiver wires looking for the right deal.
Last year, he claimed Carlos Pena from the Cubs, but the Cubs pulled Pena back off waivers.
I have a feeling that with Nova and the Yankees' August slide, you might see a waiver claim from the Yankees coming soon.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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