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White Sox: Ivan Nova’s Struggles Beginning to Affect Starting Rotation

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DETROIT, MI - APRIL 18: Ivan Nova #46 of the Chicago White Sox is pulled from the game against the Detroit Tigers after giving up a game-tying double to Nicholas Castellanos of the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning at Comerica Park on April 18, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 18: Ivan Nova #46 of the Chicago White Sox is pulled from the game against the Detroit Tigers after giving up a game-tying double to Nicholas Castellanos of the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning at Comerica Park on April 18, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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White Sox veteran pitcher has struggled in his past two starts and in his last three of four outings. His struggles are beginning to affect the starting rotation.

The Chicago White Sox were unable to build any positive momentum after their series-opening win over the Baltimore Orioles this past Monday. On Tuesday, Ivan Nova struggled again and allowed nine earned runs over just four innings pitched in the White Sox 9-1 loss to Baltimore.

This would be Nova’s second consecutive start where he lasted less than seven innings and allowed over five earned runs. In his previous outing before this past Tuesday night on April 18 against the Detroit Tigers, Nova lasted just 6.1 innings and allowed seven earned runs.

In his start on April 7 against the Seattle Mariners, Nova lasted just 2.1 innings and allowed seven earned runs. Nova is still winless on the season, and it appears his acquisition via trade this past offseason could be considered a dud. The veteran right-handed pitcher’s recent struggles are affecting the White Sox starting rotation as they’re unable to maintain any positive momentum.

On Monday night, Manny Banuelos made his first start since 2015 and pitched four scoreless innings. In the White Sox 4-3 loss against the Tigers this past Sunday, Reynaldo Lopez had his best outing of the season as he pitched six innings while allowing just two earned runs and recording eight strikeouts. Both pitchers efforts to stabilize the White Sox starting rotation was thwarted by Nova’s performance on Tuesday.

Lucas Giolito‘s recent injury allowed the opportunity for Banuelos to make his first start for the Sox. If Nova continues to struggle as the season progresses, Banuelos should be in strong contention to join the rotation as a starter once Giolito returns. Nova has one year remaining on his current contract and he won’t be a part of the Sox future.

The Sox can possibly move Nova to the bullpen if he continues to perform poorly. Even if the Sox don’t insert Banuelos into the starting rotation, there are other options available if Nova can’t turn his season around. Gio Gonzalez was recently granted his release by the New York Yankees. He could be a viable option for the Sox.

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However, signing Gonzalez could lead to similar issues the Sox are dealing with in Nova. The Sox will need a solution soon as Nova can’t keep starting if he continues to get blasted by the opposition.

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