Nathan Eovaldi’s Biggest Problem

Courtesy: Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Courtesy: Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Nathan Eovaldi has had a very up and down first season for the Yankees after a somewhat controversial trade brought him to New York along with Domingo German in exchange for Martin Prado and David Phelps going to the Miami Marlins.

The trade was a worthwhile gamble in my mind because Eovaldi has obvious tools and upside to work with and is under team control through 2017, while Prado is a league average player on the final year of his deal. Prado wasn’t going to make or break the Yankees this year, and they needed the arm. He’s been less than league average for the Marlins this season with a 88 wRC+.

Eovaldi hasn’t showed much improvement thus far with his strikeout rate or the amount of hard hit balls he has given up this year. He has an inflated 4.81 ERA, but without the 8 runs he allowed in less than an inning on June 16 in Miami it would be under four.…

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About Last Night: Nathan Eovaldi and the first inning of doom

[I know, another post on Eovaldi’s start? Yes, sorry. There’s a lot to talk about. -SG]

So just how bad was last night’s game for Nathan Eovaldi and the Yankees? The Marlins had more hits in the first inning (9) than the Yankees did for the entire game (7) and Eovaldi didn’t even make it out of the inning. His BABIP for his 2/3 of an inning of work was .818 and he gave up eight earned runs.

Let’s jump into the pictures of doom!

Here are those hits in spray chart form (there are two that landed in nearly the same spot so it only looks like eight but there are nine):
export (28)

Eovaldi gave up two ground ball hits, two line drives and two fly ball hits. In his last outing against the Nationals (a no decision), he gave up fewer hits overall (8) in seven innings – four line drives, one fly ball and three ground ball hits. And before that, he gave up four hits in 5 1/3 innings on June 5, against the Angels – two line drives, one fly ball and one ground ball.…

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Thursday morning reflections after a sweep in Seattle

I said this other day after the Yankees were able to beat Felix Hernandez: This team is confounding.

They will sweep the best team in the league (in the AL and at the time the series began), lose three out of four to a terrible team in Oakland and then sweep the Mariners in Seattle while facing the aforementioned Hernandez.

And guess what? The Yankees are in first place and four games above .500! They’re 7-3 in their last 10 games, not that you’d know that with the way some people are reacting to how they’re playing.

Are they a great team? No, but in the AL Least – no, I did not spell that wrong – being just good enough will probably be more than adequate to win the division.

Were these three games against Seattle good? Yes and no.

Beating King Felix was fun but barely beating a rookie in Mike Montgomery – well, they actually didn’t beat him, they had to wait until Fernando Rodney entered the game to make some noise – and being nearly shut down by Taijuan Walker wasn’t that great.…

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About Last Night: The Yankees did what against Felix Hernandez?

When Felix Hernandez had a six-pitch first inning and had only thrown 21 pitches after recording nine outs, most people watching last night’s game were thinking his outing would be quick, painless (for him) and a disaster for the Yankees. When Mariners’ manager Lloyd McClendon walked out of the home dugout to take the ball from his ace, who by that point, in the fifth inning, had surrendered seven runs to the Yankees, most people watching the game couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

The 2015 Yankees are confounding. They’ll sweep the best team in the American League, lose three out of four to the worst and just when you think they can’t get any more confusing, they’ll score seven runs on King Felix.

This is how it happened (Just in case you went to bed early).

Brett Gardner and Chase Headley hit back-to-back singles to start the fourth inning. Gardner advanced to third on Headley’s single. When Alex Rodriguez was up to bat, Hernandez threw a wild pitch and Gardner scored.…

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Can Chris Capuano Be Trusted?

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswill/NY Post

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswill/NY Post

After yesterday’s unfortunate elbow injury to Chase Whitley, his spot in the rotation will be taken by Chris Capuano. I felt like Whitley would keep his spot and Adam Warren would be moved to the bullpen to help a struggling middle relief corps. Warren made that decision difficult after a very good outing on Wednesday, but now the Whitley injury made the decision easy. Although, I really don’t know why Capuano was guaranteed a spot over either of them to begin with.

Capuano did a decent job for the Yankees when they brought him in from Boston last season when they were desperate for starting pitching after an avalanche of injures. He went 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA and a 3.85 FIP. Capuano was mostly a six-inning pitcher, as he never completed a full seven innings in his 12 starts for the Yankees. Unfortunately, the Yankees seem to have too many of those kind of guys right now.…

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Quick hit: Welcome back, Chase Whitley!

Whitley vs SEA

Chase Whitley is back and getting his first start of the 2015 season tonight thanks to the Yankees pushing back their rotation a day. Whitley was 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA in 12 starts last season. So, no, he’s not usually a starter. He was used out of necessity last season when injuries began to plague the starting rotation.

The last time Whitley faced Tampa was last September 10. He was forced to come into the game after that day’s starter, Chris Capuano, coughed up four runs in just a 1/3 of an inning of work. Whitley kept Tampa at bay for 2 2/3 innings and gave up one hit, struck out two and walked one. He threw 41 pitches, 24 for strikes. The day before, in another game when the starter was roughed up a bit – this time it was Hiroki Kuroda – Whitley pitched 1 1/3 innings with one walk, two strike outs and he didn’t give up a hit.…

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About Last Night: Two-Pitch Eovaldi Thrives

First off, yes, I know this is complete gimmick infringement on my part for using Stacey’s series title.  I’m sure she’s OK with it.  Second, and more importantly, I wanted to talk about a possible trend that’s developing after Nathan Eovaldi‘s strong third start.  Eovaldi put a dangerous Detroit lineup in a diaper last night, consistently making big pitches when he needed them to snuff out potential rallies.  He surrendered a lone run in his 7 innings of work, making last night easily Eovaldi’s best start in pinstripes.

What was interesting about those big pitches he threw last night was the fact that almost all of them were fastballs and sliders and not a single one of them were splitters.  After working on that pitch during the spring and using it 12 times in his first start against Boston (according to Brooks Baseball), Eovaldi has now thrown only 2 splits in his last 2 starts.  What was a more balanced pitch mix approach at the beginning of the season has become less so with each start since.  …

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What to look for: Nathan Eovaldi

Tonight Nathan Eovaldi will be making his third start this season. Eovaldi is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in eight career starts in April but he is 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA over his last six road starts which is the longest road losing streak of his career.

In his last outing this past Wednesday night, on the road in Baltimore, Eovaldi only lasted five innings. And while his nine strikeouts were a good sign, he surrendered eight hits, three walks and two runs. He also threw a season-high (and so far, team high) 101 pitches in those five innings which caused the bullpen to be called in early and they ultimately, and almost immediately, gave up the lead and the Yankees lost.

Let’s see how Eovaldi is doing so far.

16 hits – 14 singles, one double and one home run:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

  • Against lefties, Eovaldi’s given up eight hits, has struck out eight and walked one.
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About Last Night: Masahiro Tanaka

As Brad said in his recap of last night’s game, Masahiro Tanaka‘s first two starts were not great. Tanaka needed to have a good performance against the Rays in Tampa, 1) to quiet the whispers abut his elbow, and 2) to keep the Yankees on a bit of a roll.

Thankfully, he succeeded. He looked like the Tanaka of the first half of 2014, seemingly having no issues with the Rays’ lineup whatsoever. He lasted seven innings, gave up only two hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight. He also lowered his season ERA from 7.00 to 3.94 with last night’s outing.

According to Brooks Baseball PITCH f/x, Tanaka favorited his four seam fastball – throwing 28 of them. He also reached nearly 94 m.p.h. (93.9) with that pitch while averaging 91.7.

Here’s what his velocity overall looked like last night:

Courtesy of Brooks Baseball

Courtesy of Brooks Baseball

As you can see, the last pitch of his outing was one of the fastest he threw on the night.…

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