Pirates to Skip Ivan Nova’s Next Start

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 30: Ivan Nova
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 30: Ivan Nova /

The struggling Ivan Nova will not make his next scheduled start

This season Ivan Nova has not been good for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He owns a 4.11 ERA, 4.41 FIP, and he has allowed 26 home runs in 27 starts. Furthermore, Nova has allowed 185 hits in 168 2/3 innings pitched to go along with allowing hard contact 34.6 percent of the time and line drives 24.2 percent of the time.

Overall this season Ivan Nova ranks in the top-9 in the National League in hits, home runs, line drives, and hard contact allowed. He is also just 6 home runs away from breaking the Pirate franchise record for home runs allowed in a season.

The struggles of Ivan Nova have been especially bad the past four months. After being named the National League Pitcher of the Month in April, Nova has been awful his past 22 starts.

In his past 22 starts Ivan Nova has allowed 159 hits and 24 home runs in 132 2/3 innings pitched. Nova owns a 4.82 ERA and a 4.84 FIP in these starts. As a result of his struggles, the Pittsburgh Pirates are just 9-13 in these starts.

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As a result of his struggles, Ivan Nova will not make his next scheduled start. Instead, left-handed pitcher Steven Brault will get the ball on Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs.

For the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians Steven Brault was dominant this season. In 21 games (20 starts) Brault allowed just 85 hits and 5 home runs in 120 1/3 innings pitched. He averaged 8.15 K/9, his 1.94 ERA leads the International League, and he owned a 3.30 FIP.

As a result, Steven Brault was named both an International League All-Star as well as the International League Pitcher of the Year.

So far this season Brault’s Triple-A success has not translated to the Major Leagues. He has allowed 20 hits and owns a 5.93 ERA and a 5.58 xFIP in 13 2/3 innings pitched. However, his work at the Major League level this season has come out of the bullpen.

Furthermore, Steven Brault’s .370 BABIP indicates that he has been victimized by some bad luck and/or defense. Also, his 3.35 FIP indicates he has pitched much better than his ERA indicates.

According to Clint Hurdle, right now the plan is to skip just one start for Ivan Nova. However, they should shut him down for the rest of the season.

Right now, Nova brings zero value to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs would be better off to let Steven Brault get another three or four starts this season or to let Nick Kingham or Tyler Glasnow make Nova’s starts in September.

Hopefully, the Pirates will go this route.

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Ivan Nova has been horrible the past four months. He will now skip his next start. Hopefully, he does not make another start this season due to the fact he is not a good pitcher and the Pirates never should have re-signed Nova this past offseason.