Ivan Nova early leader for AL Rookie of the Year

<strong><a target=I’m sitting here getting ready for the Yanks next victory over the Royals and on the pregame they are talking about Ivan Nova (tonight’s pitcher) and his excellent rookie season. I had a double take there because I firmly remember Nova’s solid performance last season. However, they determine inning counts for rookies, Nova did not qualify last year and is now up for consideration this year. Fitz and Vig are huge Nova fans and here’s why we think he’ll take home the ROY award this season:

1) He’s having a great season. That goes for a rookie or long time veteran. His 11-4 record is good for 8th in the league in wins, and 2nd in winning percentage! The only pitcher ahead of him in that category is Justin Verlander, and we all know how great of a season he’s having.

2) He is having a better year than his competition. Josh Reddick of the Redsox is having a good season, but his at bats are still very low and his average will certainly come down. Dustin Ackley of the Mariners might be one of Seattle’s few bright spots. His .291 average is solid and he has a good eye with a decent amount of walks, but his plate appearances are low as he’s appeared in less than half of the M’s games. Nova’s toughest competition might come from fellow rightie, Michael Pineda. Pineda has been a starter for the Mariners all season, his ERA is a hair under Nova’s, but his 9 wins are two below Nova. Nova also has the advantage of probably going to the postseason which will help his cache.

3) Nova had to handle a demotion to AAA. This is one of those “only happens to the Yankees” problems where we have to send a guy down to Scranton who would most likely be a top 4 starter for any other team. Ivan the Terrible handled the demotion with class and was back to the bigs within 3 starts. He’s gone 3-0 since his return to the Bronx with a beautiful 2.61 ERA.

Big Triple Girardi has to love having a young up and comer like Nova for the future. No doubt the Yankees rotation will see some turnover this off season, but expect to see Nova on the roster in April as much as you’d expect to see DJ4K and CC300