Mood Music - Say It Ain't So by Weezer
Brock Cohen of River Ave Blues wrote about his interest in the potential #5 starter for the New York Yankees, Ivan Nova. In his piece, he mentions a truly interesting article, written by Paul Swydan of Fangraphs, on the subject of the fifth starter in the New York Yankees rotation: To sum up his point: The Yankees have always had terrible fifth starters, so letting Ivan Nova grow and improve isn't the end of the world.
Here's a list of some of the legendary performers who have graced the fifth spot in the New York Yankees' rotation over the past five years: Shawn Chacon, Corey Lidle, Aaron Small, Sidney Ponson, Jeff Karstens, Phil Hughes (2007 version), Kei Igawa, Darrel Rasner, Ian Kennedy, Carl Pavano, Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin, Chien-Ming Wang, Javier Vazquez, and Ivan Nova.
If Nova posted that WAR of 1.7 or better, it would trump the Yankees’ grand total of 1.6 WAR that they have accumulated from the last slot in the rotation the past five years, a staggeringly low total.
The fact that the fifth starter in the rotation has contributed a total of 1.6 WAR over the course of five seasons (and that Nova compiled 0.5 WAR in 42 innings in 2010) makes me feel like he can be very serviceable in the fifth spot. Or at least better than what we've seen in the past. Go out there and make me look smart, Ivan.
Bold prediction: 170 innings, 4.30 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 6.8 K/9, 1.30 WHIP.