A promising 7-1 New York Yankees win over the Baltimore Orioles featured a potential new chapter of Nathan Eovaldi.
26-year-old right-hander Nathan Eovaldi has been a case of utter confusion for the New York Yankees. His tremendous upside results in undeniable disappointment when his common method of inconsistency surfaces.
A rollercoaster first half hit rock bottom in June, a month in which he pitched to a brutal 8.65 ERA in five starts. Despite his vital status in the rotation, the coaching staff deserves credit for a gutsy maneuver which has paid major dividends.
The youngster’s potential and electricity make him a prime candidate to remain an anchor even in the worst of times. However, Joe Girardi, Larry Rothschild, and the front office opted with the rewarding route.
When speaking of a major league baseball team, absolutely no one should be perceived as invincible. If you perform, you remain on the field. Conversely, subpar output warrants subpar standing.
Unlike many current players on the 25-man roster, the Yankees took an outcome-based evaluation on a starting pitcher with one of the highest ceilings in the game today.
Following a July 1 disaster against the Padres, Eovaldi was demoted to the bullpen to work out issues without being a detrimental to the team’s win column. Additionally, he would provide middle relief help in the meantime.
Immediately, he seized the opportunity at hand. Rather than voicing frustration, he kept his head up with the knowledge that he was viewed as a starter throughout the organization. His 5.54 ERA at the time — and nothing else — was the sheer result which pushed him into the position.
A performance against the Chicago White Sox in which he fired two no-hit frames got the ball rolling. With that said, it was his brilliance in the team’s final game prior to the All-Star break that placed his confidence back at the next level.
Relieving a shaky Masahiro Tanaka, he sealed the deal while proving no further help was needed. 4.1 innings of one-hit, shutout ball lifted the Yanks to an important and uplifting series victory.
All from a quick demotion, the Texas-native was able to regain the swagger which helped him to a 5-0 month of May and a 6-2 overall start. The same guy who had become a firm number two in the rotation displayed the qualification and eagerness to return.
Right out of the gates — with a brief shutout relief appearance sandwiched in between — Eovaldi is proving his early success was no one-month fluke.
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A stellar performance against a powerhouse Baltimore Orioles lineup marks a solid start to what can be a pivotal second half. His ERA dropped below five, giving him the opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief once more.
Let’s be quite honest here. If the Yankees want to experience any sort of relevancy, possessing rocks in their starting staff cannot be undervalued. A man who went 14-3 in pinstripes last year would presumably be a candidate to shine.
A rough patch which could not have gotten any worse gave the Yanks an evident pathway towards salvaging his season. By motoring down that pathway, recuperation was the name of the game for the flamethrower.
Nine starts in the latter portion of 2015 allowed Eovaldi to earn a 3.67 ERA while playing a major role in five wins as opposed to one loss. Those appearances — prior to going down with an elbow injury — currently stand as direct substation for the claim that he heats up as the weather heats up.
For a live arm who consistently hurls his four-seam fastball anywhere from 97-100 mph and occasionally beyond, the logic does not seem out of the realm of possibilities.
Sure, that would let him erupt in any slate of summer months. Sure, his results last year can be a motivating factor in the drive to greater pastures.
However, none of this can be done with inconsistent mechanics, delivery, and finish on his pitches. The factors he apparently lacked in his rough spell were factors in dire need of resurfacing.
So in a time of chaos in the organization, a time of uncertainty on the field, and the intertwining of both, credit the staff for making sure a key to future success was furnished efficiently.
The early dividends seem to outweigh the slight chance that he reverts back to square one.
Remaining a performance-based determining factor as to whether the Yankees contend, Nathan Eovaldi has been put in a position to thrive and demonstrated professionalism in the process.