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Saturday, January 12, 2013
Poll: Nova vs. Phelps

By Andrew Marchand

Going into spring training, the Yankees top four spots in the rotation are accounted for with CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes. The No. 5 spot, though, will be a competition between Ivan Nova and David Phelps.

Nova, who turned 26 on Saturday, has an amazing ability to win even when he doesn't pitch well. He finished the season at 12-8, despite a 5.02 ERA. He also ended the year being lifted from the rotation.

In the first half of the season, he went 10-3 with 3.92 ERA, while in the second half he was just 2-5 with a 7.05 ERA. So, after averaging 14 wins in his first two full major league seasons as a starter, Nova is not guaranteed a spot in his third year.

Phelps, also 26, had a nice rookie year, finishing 4-4 with a 3.35 ERA. As a starter, he was 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts. He showed some nice potential, but it is still a very small sample size.

QUESTION: Who do you think should win the No. 5 starter spot?