Mood Music - While My Guitar Gently Weeps by The Beatles
Well, thankfully, Brandon has returned and will be back into the swing of things this coming week, so this is the last Monday that you'll have to make do with my inferior performance. To business:
Ivan Nova, he of two impressive starts since rejoining the big club, is being noticed, and talked about his mental preparation. More specifically, a phone call with his mother:
"Don’t feel pressure being in the race or anything," Nova said, recounting the conversation. "Just pitch like you were in Triple-A."
That's the type of thing that a lot of kids come up and say, but from being proud of his stuff, challenging hitters, and not baking down from a certain Blue Jay, it seems like Nova is really doing it. And while he was thought of as a stopgap while we get Javy straightened out and Andy healthy, Girardi has certainly noticed Nova's contribution. He hath quoth:
"We’ll continue to evaluate, but he’s pitching lights-out," Girardi said. "He’s pitching great."
I'm not sure how much I believe that Nova has a real chance to displace anyone from the rotation this season, but it's certainly a good problem to have.
Lots of injury updates after the jump. Oh, and the end of Mannywood too.
Let's go ahead and get it out of the way: Manny Ramirez is going to the White Sox. The White Sox will pick up the rest of the salary owed to Manny (~$4MM), but will most likely not give up a player. There was no word on whether a bag of balls or pitching machine will be exchanged, but we'll see if Manny can help The Fighting Hawk Harrelsons.
The Walking Wounded Injury Report (linkie)
Mark Teixeira - I didn't realize this, but Tex actually hurt himself diving for a ball in foul territory, and has been diagnosed with a bone bruise. He was a late scratch from yesterday's game, and should be back soon, but after injuring himself, he described his swing as "one handed." We really need him. Especially with A-Rod out.
Lance Berkman - Scheduled to start running, and should begin making rehab starts very soon. The emergence of Marcus Being Marcus has lessened the sting of losing Berkman, but he'll still be a very nice option off of the bench and a good way to get Teixeira some half days off.
Andy Pettitte - Throwing bullpen sessions of around 30 pitches. I don't really think I have to waste any cyberspace explaining how much we need him back.
Alfredo Aceves - Got shelled (3 ER in 1.2 IP) in Scranton, following up on his shelling (3 ER in 1.1 IP) in Trenton. I have considered this a lost year for Ace for a while, and if he can contribute at all, I'll look at it as a plus.
Nick Johnson - Just kidding.