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.