Nathan Eovaldi’s putaway problem

Nate Eovaldi has electric stuff, so why are his strikeout totals so underwhelming? (Photo: NY Daily News)

Nate Eovaldi has electric stuff, so why are his strikeout totals so underwhelming? (Photo: NY Daily News)

The scouting report on Nathan Eovaldi is pretty simple: a hard-throwing yet hittable right-hander, who has struggled to rack up strikeouts despite a blazing fastball that he throws consistently in the mid-to-high 90s.

The stats back up the scouts, too. Eovaldi’s heater last season averaged 95.7 mph, tied for third-highest among starting pitchers, yet his strikeout rate of 16.6 percent ranked 70th in that group of 88 qualified starters. He racked up just 142 strikeouts in 199 2/3 innings last year, one more than Masahiro Tanaka managed in his injury-shorted season of 136 1/3 innings.

Eovaldi even admitted that his lack of strikeouts remains one of the biggest holes in his resume. “That’s one of the big issues I’ve had, not being able to finish the batters off,” Eovaldi told reporters this spring.

So why does Eovaldi struggle so much to get strike three and put away hitters, despite a fastball that nearly reaches three digits?…

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Quick Hit: Greg Bird, So Hot Right Now. Greg Bird

Greg Bird Eyes

Staring right through your soul. Not into it, through it.

The fun sub-plot of many top prospects performing well in their limited ST opportunities was touched on last week.  A handful of those top prospects, including top top prospects Luis Severino and Aaron Judge, were sent down yesterday as part of the first round of roster cuts, but not included in that handful was Greg Bird.  Bird has been the best and most eye-opening of all the Yankee prospects this spring, and for him the plot is rapidly shifting from “fun ST sneak peek” to “legitimate part of the Yankees’ future plans.”

Here’s what Bird has done in the last couple weeks.  He’s hit .385/.467/.846 in 13 ST plate appearances, the SLG rate best on the team.  He’s made a few nice plays with the glove to go with his stellar offensive production.  He’s drawn rave reviews from high-ranking people inside and outside the Yankee system, including Cash and new hitting coach Jeff Pentland.  …

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IIATMS Top Moment #13: David Wells’ perfect game

There was something about David Wells as a Yankee. He only played on the team for 4 non-consecutive years of above-average, but rarely elite, performance, but I think he looms larger in all of our collective consciousnesses than a lot of longer-tenured Yankees. He was fun to watch, a member of maybe the best Yankee team ever, and was a steady pitching force in a time of booming offense.

And the perfect game didn’t hurt either.

It’s hard to write about the perfect game. It happened. The game came in May, before we all knew how special the 1998 Yankees would be. Wells struck out 11 and didn’t allow a baserunner. 7th grade me was screaming at the television.

Instead of writing something long and pithy, here are some great anecdotes from the game, mostly courtesy of Baseball Almanac:

  • It was Beanie Baby day.
  • Don Larson and David Wells went to the same High School.
  • David Cone approached David Wells in the seventh inning and said, “I told him it was time to break out the knuckleball, he let out a big laugh.
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Monday Morning Food For Thought: A Trade Opportunity Across Town

All in all, I’d say it’s been a pretty smooth start to the 2015 season for the Yankees.  All the important players are healthy, A-Rod has been a positive in every way, and the farm system has showed why it’s considered on the upswing.  The Chris Capuano injury is unfortunate, but not a mortal blow.

Things haven’t been going quite so well in Mets camp.  Their ownership continues to embarrass the organization at every turn, they still don’t have a shortstop, they have early injuries barking in their rotation, most notably Zack Wheeler’s elbow problem, and they’ve had even bigger injury problems in their bullpen.  The most recent one there is to lefty reliever Josh Edgin, who will have season-ending elbow surgery this week.  The Mets, who were already real thin at lefty before Edgin’s injury, are now dangerously thin there with 3 weeks to go until Opening Day.

You know who’s not thin in the left-handed relief department?  The Yankees.  …

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Open Thread – Spring Training Game 15

Today’s game against the Phillies is not on TV. I checked YES’s schedule, MLBN’s schedule and mlb.tv’s schedule and it’s not available on any of them. I also had someone else double check to make sure and I was right so we’re making this an open thread/game thread.

You can talk about the game if you’re able to keep track of it on Twitter or if you’re near a radio and listening to John and Suzyn on WFAN. If you are listening to the radio, provide us with play by play. (Kidding.)

Here’s the lineup you won’t be able to see:

Ellsbury 8
Gardner 7
Teixeira 3
McCann 2
Headley 5
ARod DH
Jones 9
Drew 4
Gregorius 6

Eovaldi 1

Or you can talk about whatever you want in this thread if you can’t keep track of the game. Just remember to be nice to your fellow IIATMS readers.

Enjoy the afternoon!

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The IIATMS Top 20 Countdown Recap: Moments 20-14

If you’re any kind of regular reader of this site, I assume you’re a Yankee fan.  If you do consider yourself a Yankee fan, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be reading and following our ongoing IIATMS Top 20 Moments countdown.  The era covered is the most recent one, the Jeter years of 1996-2014, so the memories are fresher for all of us than they might be for moments from further back.  That said, I’ve picked up on some different things that I didn’t notice at the time in reading and writing these posts, because I was in my adolescent and early-to-mid teen years for most of the moments.  In that respect, the countdown has been a way for me to refresh and update my memories and that’s pretty cool.

Before we get back into the countdown tomorrow, I’d like to give everybody a chance to catch up on any and all of the first 7 moments that we’ve covered.  Here, in order, are moments 20-14:

20) Roger Clemens Throws a Bat at Mike Piazza in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series – Stacey

19) Jason Giambi’s Walk-Off Grand Slam vs.

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Sunday Morning News And Notes: 3/15/15

Good Sunday morning to you, Yankee fans.  Hope your weekends have been enjoyable so far, and I hope many will be sharing my Sunday plan of sitting around in sweatpants watching sports all day.  Here’s what you missed if you were productive yesterday:

– The Yanks split their split-squad games yesterday, beating the Tigers 4-1 behind Michael Pineda and losing to the Blue Jays 1-0 behind Esmil Rogers.  Pineda tossed 3 hitless, scoreless innings in his outing while Rogers gave up 3 hits in his 3 scoreless.  They combined to strike out 7.

Alex Rodriguez was back at third base in the Rogers game, and he went 1-3 with a well-hit single off the wall in right field, a 3-pitch strikeout, and a flyout.  He keeps putting good at-bats together, he looks as good as you’d expect a soon-to-be 40-year-old with his injury history to look physically, and it seems like the NY papers are starting to lose some of their anti-A-Rod steam.  …

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Open thread: Yanks win, Yanks lose and Al Rosen passes away

The Yankees beat the Tigers at home, 4-1 and they lost to the Blue Jays on the road, 1-0.

Exciting!

Oh and A-Rod was booed in Dunedin. Some people are acting like this is newsworthy. Some people = the writers who were covering that game. Newsflash: A-Rod’s always been booed. It dates back to pre-steroid admissions so I’m really not sure what the big deal is. If the opposing fans were to chant his name and give him a standing ovation, then it would be newsworthy. Right?

And some sad news to pass on. Al Rosen, who won the American League M.V.P. in 1953 and who served as President and CEO of the Yankees from 1978-79, died yesterday at the age of 91.

From the AP:

Rosen played his entire career with Cleveland from 1947 to 1956. He was a member of the Indians’ 1948 World Series title team — playing only five games that season and getting one at-bat in the series win over the Boston Braves.

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Spring Training Games 13 and 14: A split squad day!

Big thanks to our friends at Pinstripe Alley for tweeting this bad boy out:

31415lineups

As you can see, you have a nice mix of regulars and not-regulars (as of yet) on both squads and you will also see that Al from Miami will be playing in his first road game of the Spring. It had to happen eventually because if he’s going to play this season he’s going to have to deal with the fans on the road being slightly more obnoxious than some of the home fans. See what I did there? I’m just disappointed about that game not being on TV locally but I do understand why it’s not on YES so you don’t have to explain it to me. [UPDATE: The Yankees/Blue Jays road game featuring A-Rod manning 3B Base will be on at 11 PM Eastern on MLB Network. -SG]

Speaking of YES, we get to watch Big Mike (Michael Pineda) take the mound at Steinbrenner Field.…

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