There have been many pieces posted here at Pinstripe Alley about the 5th starter, now that Andy Pettitte is injured. The choices seem split. Some want a trade, some want Mitre, some want Nova, and some want Swisher. This will be the final piece I write about the 5th starter until Saturday, I promise.
The main point of this piece? Ivan Nova belongs in the MLB, whether it is as a reliever, or as a starter. The fact that the Yankees are reluctant to add him, like they were with Albaladejo, because Gaudin and Moseley don't have options is both ludicrous and surprising to me.
I would think a team like the Yankees would realize that keeping a very bad pitcher (Gaudin) on the roster just because he might go to another team if they get rid of him is bone-headed.
Like Travis showed us, Ivan Nova had his best performance in AAA recently. How should the Yankees reward him? A call up to the MLB, and the 5th starters role.
Kuri brought to our attention that the 5th starter can face very easy lineups if the cards are played right. What a good way for Nova to start his MLB career. Nova can start until Pettitte is off the DL, then can either stay in the rotation (if another pitcher is injured), go to the bullpen, or go back to the minors.
Sergio Mitre is needed in the bullpen. That is a fact at this point. Mitre, with his 2.88 ERA, would be a solid long relief option that can save the Yankees from getting blown out in games that the starter doesn't go deep. Gaudin is an automatic white flag and Moseley is an unknown at this point.
Mitre also stands a very good chance of getting injured himself if he is in the rotation. Having started last in 2009, coming off an injury, and having rehabbed as a reliever, what makes anyone think it's either a good or even right thing to throw Mitre into the rotation? In Mitre's final rehab start he threw 73 pitches, 48 for strikes. Ivan Nova? 97 pitches, 62 for strikes.
The fact of the matter is that Sergio Mitre is starting on Saturday. Ivan Nova won't likely be called up anytime soon and the Yankees will continue with their mess of a bullpen. Does it make that much of a difference? In a close race for the AL East and the Wild Card, possibly, but you never know. Hopefully the pitchers can step up.