What to expect from Nathan Eovaldi

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Yesterday, we glanced at what David Carpenter did in his last two seasons and what we could expect from him during the 2015 campaign. Today, we’re moving back to the starting rotation and talking about another player the Yankees acquired via trade this offseason, Nathan Eovaldi.

When the Yankees needed starting pitching for the rotation, they acquired some but not by signing big name free agents such as Max Scherzer or James Shields. Instead, they swapped Martin Prado and David Phelps to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones. While the trade at the time didn’t make much sense, especially with the Yankees giving away second base depth in Prado, the Yankees did get a quality starting pitcher in Eovaldi.

Eovaldi had a rough 2014 season, going 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA and a WHIP of 1.332, but his numbers aren’t as bad as we think. His FIP–Fielding Independent Pitching, which measures a players effectiveness at preventing home runs, walks, hit by pitches and initiating strikeouts–was 3.37, which was 1.00 less than his ERA. He also notched 142 strikeouts in 199.2 innings and he reportedly throws a fastball average of 95 MPH.

The Yankees see promise with him and since Eovaldi is only 24-years-old, the Yankees believe they’re getting him before his prime and could pan out to be a dominant pitcher in the American League East. Eovaldi said in an interview a few days ago he plans on working the changeup into his repertoire and he hopes working with Larry Rothschild and Brian McCann could help him bounce back from his 2014 season.

“It’s pretty much No. 1 right now,” Eovaldi said during the interview. “My goal toward the end of the season, my last two or three games with the Marlins, I was working on a changeup — kind of like a split-finger [fastball], in a way. It’s been feeling great. I felt comfortable with it toward the end of the season last year, and this offseason, I’ve been able to pick up pretty much where I left off.”

There are quite a few things Eovaldi can work on, such as cutting down on walks (43 last season) and trying not to give up so many home runs (14). But Eovaldi shows potential, and the Yankees believe with a bit of tinkering, he could be a successful part of the 2015 Yankees rotation.

Tomorrow: We move back to the bullpen and analyze David Robertson‘s replacement–and possible candidate for the closer role–Andrew Miller.

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8 Responses to What to expect from Nathan Eovaldi

  1. guest says:

    You forgot to mention he pitched in front of a lousy infield to a below average catcher in Saltalamacchia in a ballpark with a big outfield. He still managed 20 quality starts. You should read Mark Simon from espn tweeter feed from last month for more interesting tidbits on him.

    • Celerino says:

      You hit on a great point. Hit prevention is tough to quantify. It will be interesting to see the impact of having Headley for a full year and Didi at short. CC might also benefit from improved fielding.

      • hotdog says:

        it is hard to quantify…in 2013 his era was a full point below 2014 even though his whip was the same…i don't think the majority of the difference was pitching to Salty but this is where a guy like Russell Martin made a difference…i felt Martin knew how to get the best out of his pitchers…i don't know where McCann stands in this regard but a catcher can make a pitcher considerably better…

        • guest says:

          Screw Russell Martin…so over rated and thank god he is gone. Toronto is going to regret that deal. Salty is a crappy defensive catcher and that is why the Sox didn't bring him back. McCann is a very good defensive catcher. Go read Mark Simon tweeter feed from last month right after the trade. 20 quality starts is very good when considering he got the third worst run support of any starting pitcher last year.

  2. mikefoxtrot says:

    at least a 50% chance that the Yankees made a shrewd trade.

  3. Super Swede says:

    Better than Kelly, when Nova gets back will take over the fifth spot. Claiborne to the pen or DFA. I see only upside to him, age a big factor to keep in mind. Also team control is a big factor to keep inn mind.

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