Ivan Nova has pitched very effectively for the Pittsburgh Pirates the past two months. However, he continues to allow too much hard contact.
In Saturday night’s loss to the Washington Nationals Ivan Nova had arguably his worst start as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Nova lasted just four innings and he allowed six runs, three earned, on eight hits in these four innings pitched. While his defense did not help him, Ivan Nova did not pitch well on Saturday night.
Overall, Ivan Nova has done a great job for the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, there has been one problem that has plagued him his entire two months with the Pirates. What is that problem you ask? Nova is allowing far too much hard contact.
Nova has now pitched 59 1/3 innings with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In these 59 1/3 innings pitched Nova owns a 35 percent hard contact rate allowed. When a pitcher is allowing hard contact at a 35 percent clip, they are allowing it at an above league averaged rate.
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The 23 percent line drive percentage that Ivan Nova owns as a member of the Pirates is concerning, too. A pitcher can not continue to allow this much hard contact and not get hit hard. And that is exactly what the Pirates and their fans have seen from Nova in his past two starts.
Ivan Nova is slated to become a free agent this offseason. Earlier this week it was reported by Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Pirates have made a pair of contract offers to Nova. However, reportedly, Nova and his agent are asking for a five year 70 million dollar contract.
In my opinion, that is far too big a contract for Nova. Not only had Nova been a pretty bad pitcher before coming to the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 1st, he is also allowing far too much hard contact. Ultimately, I do not believe that Nova will get that contract from anyone. And he certainly will not get it from the Pirates.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates do not re-sign Ivan Nova this offseason I will not be upset. The reason for this is because he is allowing far too much hard contact and his line drive rate is too high for his success to be sustainable. Due to his hard contact rates, in my opinion, Ivan Nova is a ticking time bomb. And I hope the Pirates are not the time that falls onto that bomb.