Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes each throw five innings in Minor League games

03/27/2013 4:51 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Ivan Nova pitched five innings against Blue Jays Minor Leaguers on Wednesday. (AP)
The Grapefruit League Yankees traveled to Sarasota on Wednesday for a battle with the Baltimore Orioles, but a handful of Big League Bombers stayed behind at the team complex to get some reps against Blue Jays Minor Leaguers.

Phil Hughes, who was revealed earlier in the day to be starting the season on the disabled list, played with the Class-A Charleston group in the afternoon and was caught by Francisco Cervelli, while the battery of Ivan Nova and Chris Stewart suited up with Class-A Advanced Tampa.

Courtesy of Yankees PR, here are their lines from Wednesday afternoon:

Phil Hughes: 5.0IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, 81 pitches/52 strikes

Francisco Cervelli: 1-for-5 with a single and one RBI

Ivan Nova: 5.0IP, 8H, 7R, 6ER, 1BB, 4K, 92 pitches/62 strikes

Chris Stewart: 0-for-2, BB

In addition to those four, David Aardsma was also in action, pitching one inning in an intersquad game; throwing against players from both Class-A and Double-A, Aardsma struck out two and threw nine of his 11 pitches for strikes.

Following the games, Nova was particularly unhappy about his performance for the second straight outing.

“It wasn’t what I was expecting,” Nova told Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog. “I was expecting to have a great spring, but I feel really good. It wasn’t that bad either. I didn’t think it was that bad. I make a lot of adjustments with my mechanics and my arm, and that’s a good point. … A lot of people look into the ERAs and other stuff. I’m not looking into the ERAs. I’m just looking that my arm is in shape and do what I intend to do with my mechanics.”

However, pitching coach Larry Rothschild later downplayed the recent struggles, telling Jennings that numbers aren't the important thing to take away from the spring.

“I don’t think he pitched as well as we’d like him to,” Rothschild said. “But a lot of times that doesn’t make a difference as long as his stamina’s there and he’s built up strength wise, pitch wise and things like that. But, obviously, if you have your druthers, you’d want to see him pitch really well and make quality pitches throughout. He’s made a lot of quality pitches, and then he’s made some mistakes. So, and the mistakes have caught him.”

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