Nova will likely be Detroit's No. 4 starter when the regular season is able to begin, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. McCosky projects Detroit's rotation to go Matthew Boyd, Spencer Turnbull, Jordan Zimmermann and then Nova, with Daniel Norris rounding things out as the No. 5 starter. The Tigers have a number of promising young arms in the minors such as Casey Mize and Matt Manning, but the rebuilding team is in no hurry to push them to the majors, so the veteran Nova figures to eat up innings this year. When the youngsters are ready, however, Nova could very well get pushed out of town.
Nova was tagged for five runs on seven hits across three innings in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox. He struck out two. Nova had some nice moments with the White Sox last year, but as a guy with a 5.5 K/9 rate, he's liable for games like this due to his inability to consistently miss bats. The veteran should eat up some innings for the Tigers with a middling ERA and strikeout total, making him more of a streaming candidate than a true fantasy asset.
Nova agreed to a contract with the Tigers on Monday. Nova will receive $1.5 million over one year, with the possibility for more if he hits his incentives, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. The veteran is far from an ace, but he should provide the Tigers with a stable arm, provided his performance level doesn't slip in his age-33 season. After three straight years with an ERA in a narrow band between 4.14 and 4.19, Nova slipped to a 4.72 ERA in 34 starts for the White Sox last season. He struck out just 14.1 percent of opposing batters, giving him quite a low ceiling for fantasy purposes.
Nova allowed one runs on three hits and two walks over five innings during Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Tigers. He had four strikeouts and did not factor in the decision. The right-hander delivered five scoreless frames and returned for the sixth inning, but he was removed after loading the bases on two singles and a walk. Nova was in line for the win until Alex Colome blew the save in the ninth inning. The 32-year-old finishes his 2019 season on a strong note and now has a 4.72 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 114:47 K:BB across 187 innings.
Nova is no longer scheduled to start the first game of Friday's doubleheader against Detroit due to rain. It's unclear whether the teams will get in even one game Friday, let alone two. When Nova next pitches remains to be seen. Carson Fulmer will start in his place in what may end up as a bullpen game should the game wind up being played.
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