Wednesday, March 19, 2014

By: Gavin Ewbank | Lead Writer

The Yankees make their first trip up to the Disney Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida today for a Grapefruit League game against the Atlanta Braves. Ivan Nova takes the mound for the Yankees, while the Braves hand the ball to David Hale.

Nova is making his fifth start of the spring, and we can assume that he'll throw at least five innings, or until he reaches his pitch-limit.

Even though spring numbers don't matter at all, Nova enters the game with an ERA of 5.40 through his first four starts. However, Nova has been showing some great control and feel for his pitches, with 16 strikeouts and only two walks in 13.1 innings.

Nova has really on had one good outing, in terms of giving up runs, so far this spring. He last took the mound in a split-squad game against the Philadelphia Phillies, getting knocked around for three runs on nine hits in five innings of work.

Regardless, he's penciled in to be the Yankees' fourth starter this season behind CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka, although recent speculation could have Tanaka making his first start in the fourth or fifth game of the season, which means Nova's first start could be against the Houston Astros in the Opening Series.

Today's lineup at Atlanta:

Derek Jeter made the trip up Orlando today, the first time this spring that he has actually gone on the road with the team. The lineup card had a "2" listed next to his name as if he was going to be behind the plate today, but it was just a silly error; he's starting at shortstop.


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