First Pitch: Nova tries to hold serve

TAMPA, Fla. -- David Phelps has thrown inning after inning like an ace, while Ivan Nova has basically matched him.

Ivan Nova

Ivan Nova

#47 SP
New York Yankees

2012 STATS

  • GM28
  • W12

  • L8

  • BB56

  • K153

  • ERA5.02

In Port Charlotte on Tuesday, Nova will try to hold serve against the Rays -- and, really, Phelps. Nova enters having allowed one run in five innings (1.80), while Phelps has also given up one run, in a team-high 14 innings (0.64).

There is really no favorite in this race so far. The fact that Phelps has more bullpen experience will likely not be a factor in the Yankees’ decision making. They are going to go with the man they think is the better starter.

So far, the decision is a hard one, which, as Joe Girardi said the other day, is not a bad thing.

UP NOW: Brian Cashman made some news, saying he would love to have Chipper Jones become a Yankee. The real story is that Derrek Lee is a possibility.

ON DECK: The distinguished Wallace Matthews is back and will be in Port Charlotte to chronicle all the action.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Phelps or Nova? Who do you want in the five spot?