The Yankees traded for the flame-throwing righty on December 14, 2014. They traded infielder/outfielder Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps to the Miami Marlins for Eovaldi, Garrett Jones and Domingo German.
In the 2014 season with the Marlins, he had a mediocre 4.37 ERA and his 223 hits allowed were the most in the National League. However, the Yankees traded for him because he set career highs with 32 games started and 199.2 innings pitched and his average fastball velocity was the second fastest in the National League.
He showed positives and some negatives during his two seasons with the Yankees but didn’t show enough improvement in his secondary pitches to make the Yankees want to keep him while he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
On August 16 of this season it was announced that he would miss the rest of the 2016 seasons and likely all of the 2017 season due to a torn flexor tendon and partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. The Yankees announced that he had undergone his second Tommy John surgery a few days later.
In the 2015 season, he led all MLB starting pitchers with an average fastball velocity of 96.6 MPH. His velocity didn’t lead to much more success than he had in 2014. His ERA of 4.20 was better than the 4.37 he had the previous season but his 1.45 WHIP was worse than his 1.33 WHIP from his last season with the Marlins. His fastball averaged 97.1 in the games that he appeared in this season.
In 2015, he missed the month of September because of elbow inflammation and the month of August raised his ERA and WHIP as he allowed three runs or more in four of his last five starts and allowed five hits or more in three of those five starts. That performance in August was disappointing because in nine starts between June 20 and August 7 he allowed two runs or less seven times while giving up two walks or less in six of those starts. He showed how dominant he can be during that stretch when he locates his pitches and throws his secondary pitches where he wants them to go.
Eovaldi was able to develop a split-fingered fastball with the help of Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, which helped him improve during that nine start stretch and for periods of the 2016 season. In addition to the splitter, according go Brooks Baseball, he relied on his fourseam fastball (98), slider (87) and cutter (94). He rarely mixed in his curve ball.
Eovaldi entered the 2016 campaign fully healthy but allowed five and four runs in each of his first two starts. He allowed three and zero runs in his last two games in April and his next two months alternated between pitching well overall and not deserving to be in the rotation.
In May, he opened the month by allowing six runs in five innings on 10 hits against the Red Sox but pitched well the rest of the month as he allowed two runs or less in four of his next five starts. However he wasn’t able to continue that momentum into July and his first start in August.
The 26-year-old Houston native, who grew up in the same town as Nolan Ryan, gave up a combined 31 earned runs in 30.1 innings in six starts, which caused the Yankees to move him to the bullpen. It is not acceptable for a starting pitcher to allow four runs or more in six straight starts, which included five or more in five of those starts.
He would go on to make eight more appearances with the Yankees before his season ended. Eovaldi made three appearances out of the bullpen after his awful start on August 1 and combined to pitch 7.2 innings while allowing three hits and striking out four. The bullpen is where he might make sense after he recovers from Tommy John surgery since has some trouble with his non fastball and slider pitches.
In his first start after returning to the rotation he performed well as he limited the Baltimore Orioles to one run in 5.1 innings but was progressively worse in his next three starts. He allowed two, three and four runs in his last three starts and in his final start, against the crosstown rival Mets, he gave up four runs on five hits (two homers) and two walks.
It’s unfortunate that he was not able to truly pitch well for a consistent amount of games while with the Yankees because his velocity is elite and he has solid secondary pitches when everything is going well. The splitter that he developed did help but it would not have made sense for the Yankees to keep him while he recovered from Tommy John surgery during all of the 2017 season.
Another reason that he would make sense for the bullpen is that a pitcher with his fastball velocity should be able to have more strikeouts than he does, and it is possible that concentrating on two pitches will help lead to more strikeouts. He will be most remembered for lighting up the scoreboard with 100 plus mph pitches, his very good month of May this season and his very good month of July plus last season.
The Yankees acquired Nate Eovaldi on December 19, 2014. They traded Martin Prado and David Phelps to the Miami Marlins for Domingo German, Garrett Jones and Eovaldi. Eovaldi’s 25th birthday is today, and this trade gives the Yankees a flamethrower who has the potential to help the rotation for years to come.
In 2013, Eovaldi’s ERA (3.39) and WHIP (1.317) were the lowest of his four-year career. Eovaldi allowed the most hits in the National League last season and had a high 4.37 ERA, but he did set career highs with 33 games started, 142 strikeouts and 199.2 innings pitched. The hard-throwing righty averaged 95.5 miles per hour on his fastball last season, which was the fourth fastest in all of baseball.
However, he does need to improve and rely on his secondary pitches more, in order to keep hitters off balance, and Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild could be the pitching coach to help him do just that.
According to Evoaldi, the two have developed chemistry so far. Pitchers and catchers have not officially reported yet, but Eovaldi has already thrown a few bullpen sessions with Rothschild watching. “We’ve already begun to work on things,” Eovaldi said after a workout at the Yankees’ minor-league complex this week. “He’s awesome. It’s going to be a lot of fun working with him this year.”
In 2014, Eovaldi primarily threw a four-seam fastball, slider (87mph) and curve (77mph). His slider generates more groundballs than other pitchers’ sliders and is harder than usual. He threw a change and sinker much less frequently last season. He often reverted to his fastball when he was in a in trouble last season, and the opposition came to expect it, so if he can improve his slider and curve in spring training he could have an ERA closer to the one he had in 2013.
In their bullpen sessions so far, they have been working on getting more consistency in his off-speed pitches. If he can successfully mix in his off-speed pitches while continuing to accurately throwing his elite fastball, he could go from being a average starter with a an elite heater to a consistently reliable one with All-Star ability.
(He is due to have a lower ERA this season because his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching – strikeouts, walks and home runs calculate what the ERA should have been) last season was a career-low 3.37 as a result of allowing about the same amount of walks and 64 more strikeouts than he did in 2013.)
He also recently reflected on his 2014 season, which had some positives and negatives. “I accomplished a lot that I wanted to,” Eovaldi said. “I stayed healthy. I got a lot of innings under my belt, controlled my walks. But my ERA was a lot higher than I would have liked it to (have) been and I gave up too many hits.”
The young emerging pitcher is proving to have a desire to improve on last season since he is putting in extra work with Rothschild. The fifth-year Yankees pitching coach, who helped Ivan Nova win 16 games in his rookie season, is very good at dealing with the mental and mechanical aspect of pitching, which should help Eovaldi improve his non-fastball pitches as well as adjust to pitching at Yankee Stadium and in the AL East.
Eovaldi, who is a starting pitcher who will turn 25 in February, is known for his dominating fastball that averages 96 mph while having a low strikeout total (142 in 199.2 innings last season) because he struggles with his location. He was traded from the Dodgers to the Marlins in 2012 in the blockbuster Hanley Ramirez deal. He has made 83 appearances (79 starts) while pitching 460 innings combined with the Dodgers and Marlins and has a deceiving record of 15-35 with a 4.07 ERA.
He had a 6-14 record while posting an ERA 4.24 last season. However, the former 11th-round draft pick out of Alvin High in Texas, had by far his best season of his career in 2013 as he showed his potential recording a 3.39 ERA in his 18 starts. If he can locate his overpowering fastball in the corners instead of throwing right down the middle like he often does he could have another season like he did in 2013.
Consistency and immaturity are his main issues as a pitcher. This is what an NL advanced scout said about Eovaldi: “He has No. 2 starter stuff, throws 98, but is very immature. His response to any trouble is to throw harder.” His 95.7 average fastball last season was the 4th best in all of baseball. In 2014, he relied primarily on his fastball and slider (87 mph), while also mixing in a curve (77 mph). He threw his changeup (77 mph) and sinker (97 mph) much less than his other three pitches. He will be more consistent if he relies more on his secondary pitches like his curve, change and sinker so that he will not only be throwing his fastball when he gets in trouble.
It would have been ideal if the Yankees could have kept Martin Prado, who plays well defensively at second, third and outfield and hit .316 with seven homers and 16 RBIs with the Yankees after being traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks, but Brian Cashman essentially turned Peter O’Brien into two months of Prado, and then turned Prado and David Phelps into Eovaldi, Jones and German.
Phelps is a pitcher that the Yankees will not miss as they tried to trade him last winter as well. The 28-year-old made his debut for the Yankees in April of 2012 after being drafted in 2008 and has appeared in 87 games and made 40 starts. He has a 4.21 ERA in 299.1 innings and has had ERAs of 4.38 and 4.98 the last two seasons. His WHIP has gotten worse the last two seasons and he basically is a No. 5 pitcher and middle reliever at this point without much upside.
The trade of Prado will initially hurt the Yankees in the infield, as he would have been the starter at second after they re-signed Chase Headley earlier in the week, but it opens up a spot for Rob Refsnyder, who has the ability to be a better overall second baseman eventually than Prado. Refsnyder, who is likely their second baseman of the present and future, could struggle a little in the beginning defensively. However, he is known for his ability with the bat and, after playing outfield in college, his defense his greatly improved.
In the 2014 season, Refsnyder had only three errors in 64 games at second base with the AAA-Scranton RailRiders after committing nine errors in 58 games with the AA-Trenton Thunder. In 2013, he had a combined 25 errors with two levels of A ball, which further proves his defensive development. He has hit well throughout the minors, with a .297 average in 313 games. In 137 games last season, Refsnyder hit .318 with 14 homers and 63 RBIs. This move will allow him to show his talents earlier than if Prado was still on the team. (The Yankees will miss Prado’s defensive versatility since he can play left field, right field, second base and third base.)
German is the second pitcher that the Yankees got in the deal. He is a 22-year old who was #8 on MLB.COM’s Top 10 Marlins prospects list. He has a 2.33 ERA in five seasons, and in 2014 while pitching for Single-A Greensboro in the South Atlantic League, he had an impressive 2.48 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 113 strikeouts in 25 starts. Those stats are impressive even though that league is pitcher friendly. Cashman said that he will probably begin the season with High-A Tampa, and it seems like he could be in the big league rotation in the next two or three seasons. He could be a hidden gem of this trade.
Jones is the third player that the Yankees received and he should further diminish Alex Rodriguez’s role on the team. The 33-year-old didn’t make his MLB debut until he was 25 and didn’t get regular playing time until he was 28 in 2009. He has hit 15 homers or more in each of the past six seasons. His average was only .246 last season, but in 2012, he had a solid all-around season as he had a .274 average with 24 homers and 86 RBIs. He played in 129 games at first base last season, but he can be relied on to play the corner outfield positions as well.
This trade makes the Yankees rotation younger as they will have Masahiro Tanaka (26), Michael Pineda (25), Eovaldi (24) and Ivan Nova (27) all 27 or younger. This move means that they will not be getting Max Scherzer, but if Eovaldi can pitch like he did in 2013, this will prove to be a smart trade. Jones’s ability to play first base and outfield will ensure that the Yankees have a reliable back-up to Mark Teixeira and give them a player with power to put in the outfield since Carlos Beltran will inevitably have to miss time.
Losing Prado is definitely a drawback as he was a plus in the clubhouse and was a player who would do whatever it took to win, but the Eovaldi, Jones and German additions have the ability to help the team win in 2015 and in the future.
Rob Refsnyder, the 23-year-old (he will be 24 in March) second baseman and right fielder who played in Double-A and Triple-A last season, should be the starting second baseman for the Yankees during the 2015 season.
He offers versatility since he played right field at the University of Arizona, but the Yankees drafted him to be a second baseman, and that is where he has played the majority of his games in the minors. In three seasons playing at Charleston, Tampa, Trenton and Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Refsnyder played 230 games at second, so he has enough experience at the position. After making 25 errors in his first season, he greatly improved defensively in 2014.
In 137 games combined between two levels in 2014, Refsnyder had a .318 average, 14 homers, 63 RBIs, nine steals and 82 runs scored. At AAA-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he played in 77 games and had an impressive .300 average, eight homers, 33 RBIs, 41 walks and 19 doubles. In 64 games playing second base with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he only had three errors, which helped lead to a .988 fielding percentage.
He can obviously handle pitching at AAA and deserves a chance to prove what he can do in the Bronx. Last season, the Yankees went primarily with veterans Brian Roberts and Stephen Drew at second base. That strategy didn’t work since they had one of the worse offensive years from the second base position out of any team last season.
If Refsnyder plays second, the primary position that the Yankees would have to upgrade would be shortstop. As a result of Derek Jeter’s retirement, the Yankees need to sign a relatively young player who can make the routing and web gem worthy play in the field and hit for some power. Hanley Ramirez is the best available option since he will turn 31 on December 23, and hit .283, drove in 71 runs and stole 14 bases last season.
The Yankees can’t bring back Drew next season based on how he performed last season. Drew had a 10.1M salary in 2013, and hit only .162 with 7 HRs and 26 RBIs.
Refsnyder, who was born in South Korea and was adopted by a couple in Southern California when he was three months old, should be able to handle playing second next season because he is not young for a prospect as he will turn 24 on March 26. He has experience playing in big games since he was named the College World Series Most Valuable Player after his University of Arizona team won the College World Series in 2012.
Martin Prado, who was acquired last season before the trade deadline for catching prospect Peter O’Brien and a player to be named later, played well last season in two months with the Yankees. In 37 games, Prado hit .316 with seven homers and 16 RBIs. He played in 17 games at second base and 12 games combined in the outfield. He only made one error in those 29 games. Prado would make sense as the back-up second baseman and starting right fielder with Jacoby Ellsbury in center and Brett Gardner in right.
Another reason that it would make sense for Refsnyder to be the second baseman is that the Yankees need to have more youth in the lineup because they mainly have players 30 or older. Refsnyder will not likely be injury prone, which is a plus, because Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez are all injury related question marks in the infield. A-Rod is officially back on the active roster after his 162-game suspension, and Headley is a player that Brian Cashman should resign.
The Yankees lost a deflating 9-4 game to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. This was the first game of their nine-game home stand. They didn’t play well overall as they made base-running mistakes, didn’t get a good start from Shane Greene and didn’t get hits with runners on base once again.
Shane Greene, who had a 3.09 ERA in nine starts coming into the game, had by far his worst start of his rookie season. He allowed six runs, which included a three-run homer to Daniel Nava and a solo homer to Xander Bogaerts, in only 2.2 innings. That was only Nava’s third homer of the season and his last one came on April 15. “I just didn’t think his location was very good today. He just had a tough start tonight,” Joe Girardi said. “Greeny has thrown the ball well for us all along and he just had a tough start tonight.”
Greene also allowed two runs in the first off of a RBI double to deep left by Yoenis Cespedes and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli that scored David Ortiz. Greene was flat out not able to locate his pitches like he had in his previous starts.
Esmil Rogers pitched 1.1 innings after Greene was taken out with two outs in the third, but Rogers gave up a homer to Mookie Betts for Boston’s seventh run. The Red Sox would have won the game on only the homers they hit because the three that they slugged accounted for five runs and the Yankees only scored four.
The Yankees scored four runs, which is more than they scored on Saturday and Sunday combined, but they had chances to add on many more runs. The Yankees left six runners on base, were only 2-7 with runners in scoring position with Jacoby Ellsbury going 0-3 and they grounded into two double plays.
In the fifth inning, with the Yankees losing 7-1 after Martin Prado’s homer in the third inning, Prado made a base running mistake after hitting a single to deep left since he thought Carlos Beltran would have scored on the play with Brian McCann advancing to third. He was not paying attention and was out at second, which caused there to be runners on second and third with one out instead of bases loaded with no outs. Chase Headley would walk to load the bases and Joe Kelly walked Francisco Cervelli on a 3-1 pitch to score the Yankees’ second run.
Ellsbury could have put the Yankees back in the game with a double, but he lined out to the shortstop with the bases loaded. Derek Jeter got an infield single to score the third run after the original out call was reversed. The Yankees didn’t come through with runners in scoring position once again when Brett Gardner struck out looking to end the 5th inning. The pitch was clearly about a foot outside and Gardner ended up being thrown out of the game because he spiked his helmet.
“We all know Gardy knowns the strike zone. He got frustrated with him and I think most people would have,” Girardi said. This is regarding Gardner getting kicked out of the game. Girardi thought the pitch should have been called a ball and definitely trusts Gardner’s knowledge of the strike zone. “I saw the replay of it, obviously it was outside, about where I thought it was. My emotions just got the best of me,” Gardner said. He was obviously frustrated because he struck out at a crucial point of the game and it was also the home plate umpire’s second missed call with him at the plate.
The Red Sox are currently in last by 5.5 games, and if they end up finishing the season in last place in the AL East they will only be the second team to finish in last place after winning the World Series the previous season.
In the sixth-inning, McCann hit into a double play to end the inning. This would happen again in the seventh-inning as Cervelli hit into a double play with Chase Headley on first and Prado on second. Prado advanced to third on the double play, but Ellsbury flied out to right for another unsuccessful at-bat with a runner in scoring position.
McCann hit a home run to right in the ninth off of Koji Uehara, but it was meaningless as a result of Greene having his worst start of the season at the wrong time and the offense not producing for yet another game. It also didn’t help that they combined to strikeout a combined nine times.
The Yankees are now 33-32 at Yankee Stadium this season and they only average 3.6 runs at home. “This series is extremely important and this is not how your want to start out the series,” Girardi said.
The Yankees will have to rebound from yesterday’s loss without Prado’s offense. He has a mild left hamstring strain and is hoping to return to the lineup in a day or two. The Yankees and Cleveland Indians are now both five games behind the Detroit Tigers for the second wild-card spot.
Wednesday’s 7:05 p.m. game will be started by the veteran Hiroki Kuroda who will be looking to get the team back in the win column. He is coming off of a start where he only allowed two runs in seven innings.
The Yankees defeated the Chicago White Sox, 5-3, on Saturday afternoon for their third consecutive win. The Yankees scored more than four runs for the first time in their last 11 games.
Martin Prado, who had a walk-off hit on Friday, led the Yankees with three hits and also had two RBIs and a run scored. In the fourth inning, for the team’s second and third runs, Prado hit a double to left that scored Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. In the sixth inning, a challenge was ruled in the Yankees favor giving Prado another double, and his hustle would help him score on Chase Headley’s shallow sacrifice fly. His other hit was a bunt single in the second.
In his last three games, Prado has six hits in 12 at-bats, five RBIs and three runs scored. His offense, defense and energy has greatly improved the team. Joe Girardi has been impressed with Prado in his three weeks with the Yankees. “He is a guy that grinds it out everyday,” Girardi said. “I knew how good of a player he was and he has been a good acquisition.”
Prado, who had four productive seasons with the Atlanta Braves before moving on to the Arizona Diamondbacks, is a true team player. “I am trying to do whatever I can to help the team,” Prado said. “We are not looking at stats right now.”
In the second-inning, Mark Teixeira scored on Chase Headley’s double play. Beltran, who was 2-4 in his first game since Tuesday due to his elbow injury, hit his 15th homer of the season in the sixth inning. Prado scored the team’s fifth run later in the sixth inning on a Stephen Drew sacrifice fly.
“Right now, I am just thinking about winning ballgames,” Beltran said. “That is all we are thinking about as a team. It is good to always contribute to the team. Most importantly, we need to go out there and try to get Ws.” He made a point of saying that he didn’t want to answer another question about his injury.
Hiroki Kuroda was also key in helping the Yankees bring their winning streak to three. He pitched six solid innings while only allowing two runs. He had six strikeouts and retired the last three batters that he faced before Shawn Kelley came in for the seventh. Jose Abreu hit a single that scored Alexandro De Aza in the fifth, but Kuroda was then able to get Adam Dunn to hit into an inning ending double play.
Kuroda was pitching on a day of extra rest, and he has proven to pitch with much more effectiveness when this happens. In the last six starts that he has had one or more days of extra rest he is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA. His second consecutive dominating start lowered his ERA to 3.94 and gave him his ninth win of the season.
David Robertson pitched the ninth and saved his 34th game in 36 chances this season. It was the 22nd consecutive save chance that he has converted.
The Yankees are now 3.5 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card as a result of Seattle’s win on Saturday. The Yankees gained ground on the Detroit Tigers, who have lost three in a row, and are now only two games behind them.
On Sunday, the Yankees will face the White Sox ace, Chris Sale, as they try to sweep the White Sox.
Brandon McCarthy‘s complete game shutout helped the Yankees snap their two-game losing streak and win the series finale against the Houston Astros, 3-0. He needed 107 pitches to get through nine innings and only gave up four hits. His eight strikeouts were the fifth time out of eight starts with the Yankees that he had seven or more strikeouts.
McCarthy has also allowed two runs or less in seven of his eight starts with the Yankees and had his second start where he allowed zero runs. He now has a 5-2 record and an outstanding 1.90 ERA since being traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Yankees. He is best when he is allowing a lot of ground balls, and he did just that on Thursday as he induced 12 ground balls. The Astros were 0-3 with runners in scoring position, Dexter Fowler and Marc Krauss were the only ones with extra base hits.
After allowing 15 homers while pitching for the Diamondbacks, McCarthy has only allowed three homers in eight starts and two of those have come at Yankee Stadium. “I think my pitch mix is better now,” McCarthy said. “The cutter and the four-seam have become pitches I can use as weapons again. In turn, that just starts to build confidence.”
Catcher Francisco Cervelli gave him a loud pep talk in the seventh-inning when McCarthy was losing his confidence after allowing a double and single. “He was like, ‘Your stuff’s is so good, let’s go. We’re going to get all the way through this.‘ From early on in the game he was on me,” McCarthy said.
His complete game was clutch because he was able to give the overworked bullpen an night off. The Yankees will now be able to potentially have Dellin Betances and David Robertson for two out of the three games against the Chicago White Sox. He has proven that the Yankees should definitely give him a new contract in the offseason.
The Yankees did not score more than four runs for their 10th consecutive game, but they scored enough runs in the second inning to give the team a needed victory. Chase Headley’s double to deep right in the second that scored Mark Teixeira and Martin Prado gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. For the third run of the second-inning, Ichiro Suzuki hit a sacrifice fly to score Headley. With Cervelli’s single in the fifth, he is now on a five-game hitting streak.
On Friday, the Yankees will start a key three-game set against the White Sox, who are in fourth place in the AL Central with a 59-68 record. They need to win two games and it is important that they sweep the series so that they make up ground in the wild-card standings. They are four games behind the Detroit Tigers and 3.5 behind the Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card, and they both lost their last game.
It will be important that the Yankees to win the first two games because the Tigers ace, Chris Sale, will be pitching on Sunday. Here are the pitching matchups for the series at Yankee Stadium:
Friday at 7:05 p.m.
RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.91 ERA)
LHP John Danks (9-8, 4.94 ERA)
Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
RHP Hiroki Kuroda (8-8, 3.97 ERA)
RHP Scott Carroll (5-7, 4.99 ERA)
Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.35 ERA)
Chris Sale (10-3, 2.12 ERA)