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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Prospect Profile: Brady Lail

Brady LailI’ve noticed Brady Lail working his way through the Yankees’ farm system the last few years, but at times he has seemed to fly under the radar, particularly given some some of the bigger name pitching prospects that are working their way up to the Bronx. The right-hander from Utah has pitched pretty consistently as he climbed the ladder and is putting together a solid season for the Trenton Thunder, so let’s find out a bit more about him.

Name: Brady Joe Lail
Birthdate: August 9, 1993
Birthplace: South Jordan, UT
Bats: RightThrows: Right
Height: 6’2
Weight: 205

Drafted in the 18th round of the 2012 draft, Lail started his professional career right out of high school and has the potential to be one of those late round drafts that pays off, which is why I love following the minors. His career started in the Gulf Coast League, where he managed to put together a strong five games in 2012.…

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Thursday Morning Thoughts And Afterthoughts

I haven’t written much lately and I really didn’t follow the last few days very closely save for the box scores, but as usual there’s been a lot going on in Yankeeland during that time.  This post serves as my short form, hot take catch-up on a lot of those happenings.

– Yesterday’s win was a welcome change of pace from the preceding 3 games.  Those were really ugly.  You never get too worked up about 1 start when you’re talking about guys like Tanaka and Pineda, unless you want to look like a fool in front of your reading audience, but they were both pretty bad in their games and 34 runs in 3 is waaaaaayyyy too many runs.  There’s practically zero chance to win when that’s what your pitching staff gives you.

– As little concern as I have about those 2 guys going forward, CC Sabathia is another matter entirely.  He was responsible for a chunk of those 34 runs himself, and once again they came in what has become the all-too-common fashion for CC.  …

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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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Carlos Beltran is the Yankees’ Biggest Issue

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

If you asked most Yankees fans what the biggest issue with the team is the vast majority would probably say second base or the leaky middle relief. While both are issues, neither are as bad as Carlos Beltran in right field.

The middle relief is porous, but good starting pitching can cover that up, and Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson showed what they can do yesterday in setting up for Dellin Betances. Drew is also terrible, but at least he can hit home runs and play defense, which are two more things than Beltran can do on a baseball diamond at this point. Father time is undefeated in all sports and it has gotten the best of Beltran.

Beltran literally does nothing well anymore, which his -.04 WAR suggests he is worse than a replacement player would be. His defense in right field is just unwatchable, and it’s amazing how it has been put up with this long already because it’s become untenable.…

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On Yesterday’s Sneak Peek At The New Bullpen Hierarchy

Betances vs BAL

Dellin Betances shakes hands with a small child in a John Ryan Murphy jersey at the conclusion of yesterday’s game. Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees salvaged a little something from the weekend series in Baltimore yesterday with a hard fought 5-3 victory.  The big offensive inning in the top of the 5th is what got them the lead, but the real reason they held on to win was the outstanding relief work by the last 3 reliable men standing in the bullpen.

Chasen Shreve, Justin Wilson, and Dellin Betances.  Only 1 of them was expected to be a critical part of the bullpen’s success this year, but yesterday all 3 of them shined in their new roles.  Shreve came on in relief of starter Adam Warren in the bottom of the 5th to hold the lead the offense had just given them, and did so by getting Travis Snider to fly out to end the inning.  He then returned to the mound for the start of the 6th inning and retired the Orioles 1-2-3 on a pair of groundouts and a foul tip strikeout.…

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Which Ivan Nova Are the Yankees Getting?

Ivan Nova

It appears that if all goes well with Ivan Nova’s rehab start on Saturday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre that he will return to the big-league rotation sometime next week. What happens with Adam Warren has been the big story with Nova’s impending return, but I’m going to be very curious just what pitcher the Yankees are getting with Nova.

Nova’s career with the Yankees has been pretty fascinating to watch with many different twists and turns. He came up to the Yankees in 2011 with outstanding results going 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA. However, it seemed like a little fools gold with Nova only striking out 5.33 batters per nine inning compared to walking 3.10 and his XFIP was 4.16.

Nova became much more of a strikeout pitcher in 2012 and raised his K/9 rate 8.08, but didn’t get the same results on the mound even though his xFIP was better at 3.92. He had a terrible 5.02 ERA over 170 1/3 innings.…

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Quick Hit: Some More Slow And Steady Progress From Didi

A little over a month ago, I wrote a short post discussing the upward trend in Didi Gregorius’ play after his miserable first few weeks.  He had just started to hit a little better and field a little better, and while I wouldn’t say there was a huge wave of support for him in the comment section, there was a general sense of “let’s give him some more time and see how he does”.  That was the smart and reasonable way to look at the situation at the time, so kudos to all of us who were smart and reasonable enough to do so.

Here we are a month later and I’m happy to report that the slow and steady upward trend in Didi’s performance has continued.  From .222/.288/.250 in early May to .238/.294/.311 today, Didi has swung the bat much better in recent weeks and has been rewarded for it.  I touched on some of the key figures that support this trend on Twitter yesterday, from the improvement in OPS:

To the drastic improvement in hard contact rate:

They all add up to a young player who is continuing to settle into his new environment and new role, and that’s a very encouraging sign.  …

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Recapping Day One of the 2015 Draft

After not having any picks in the first round of the draft last year, the Yankees had two first round picks and a second round pick last night. Not only did they have a few decisions to make on the first day, but the Yankees also had their lowest pick (16th) since 1993 (13th). Let’s take a look at the newest Yankees’ draftees.

James KaprielianJames Kaprielian (RHP): The righty out of UCLA was widely expected to go in the middle of the first round. Much like their first pick last year, Jacob Lindgren, the Yankees chose another pitcher in Kaprielian who could be ready for the majors in very little time. Kaprielian started his collegiate career coming out of the bullpen, but in his sophomore and junior years the hurler took up the front spot in the rotation. Scouts believe he is a pretty solid bet to be a middle of the rotation guy on a major league team, making this sound like a smart pick for the Bombers.…

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