It’s not often that a starting pitcher posts a Top-10 K rate and is in danger of losing his spot in the rotation. But that’s exactly where Ivan Nova finds himself, particularly when it comes to the Yankees’ postseason pitching plans.

Nova currently ranks 10th in the AL in K/9 at 8.08, which is a 2.75 increase (!!) over 2011. His K/BB of of 2.73 is a 1.00 increase (!!) over 2011. His swinging strike rate (swing & miss divided by total pitches) is at a career-high 9.0% (career 7.7%).

So when a pitcher is striking out more hitters, walking less of them, and missing more swinging bats, this is usually a welcome development, no?

It’s why most ERA predictors like xFIP and SIERA show Nova’s skill level more reflective as a sub-4.00 ERA pitcher this year.

Enter the counter-argument.

His line drive rate is at a career-high 22.4%, his groundball rate has gone from 52.7% in 2011 to 45.2% this year, and his HR/9 more than doubled from last season to 1.48. In fact, Nova’s ‘home run per flyball percentage’ is the 4th-worst (or 4th-highest, however you want to look at it) in Major League Baseball, at 16.6%. Basically, 1 in 6 flyballs Nova allows are leaving the park. That’s pretty nuts if you think about it.

SABR heads may call that bad luck, others may point to his pitches. According to Pitch FX, his fastball effectiveness has plummeted to -1.49 runs per every 100 thrown. He’s also nearly quadrupled the amount of time he’s throwing a slider (12.1%) and that pitch is generating -1.39 runs per 100 thrown.

Just a really bizarre season for Nova with supporting data for both sides of the argument.

Should the Yankees make it to a multiple-game playoff series (avoiding or advancing in the 1-game wildcard dice roll), what do you think Nova should be doing for the Bombers?