Joe Girardi said Wednesday he wasn't looking at Friday's start by Ivan Nova as one the 23-year-old should approach as if his rotation spot was on the line.
Still, Girardi made clear he wanted to see the righthander make some adjustments and so he was pleased with what he saw in the Yankees' 3-2 loss Friday night to the Angels.
"I think it was positive," Girardi said. "I thought he mixed his pitches better, I thought his command was better tonight. It's unfortunate he gave up the two runs early because he seemed to settle down pretty well after that."
Nova walked three in his 3 2/3-inning outing Saturday night in Seattle and what Girardi most wanted to see Friday was the pitcher use more than two pitches. He believed Nova, who has four pitches, had lapsed into a two-pitch pitcher.
“It’s really encouraging,” Girardi said “We saw him use his changeup, we saw him use his slider, we saw him throw more strikes tonight. He walked two guys in six innings. That’s good.”
Nova used the word "progress" in describing his outing.
"When you have a bad one [outing] like that," he said, referencing the Seattle start, "you have to recover and try and do the best you can in the next one. I think what I did today is I showed more progress."