His fastball reaches the upper 90s but he gave up the most hits in the National League in 2014 and struck out well under a batter per inning. Cashman turned Eovaldi over to Larry Rothschild with the hope that the pitching coach could enhance the young pitcher's offspeed pitches and unlock all of Eovaldi’s potential leaving the Yankees with a young ace to pair with Masahiro Tanaka and/or Michael Pineda.
Eight games in, Eovaldi is much the same as he was last year. He is averaging barely 6 IP per start, bolstered only by two starts when he went 7.0 IP. The other starts have been largely subpar and ineffective, adding to the toll on the bullpen.
Eovaldi has only 36 SOs across 45.2 IP and 25% of those came in one fantastic start against the Detroit Tigers. His ERA for the season is 4.73 ERA and his 3-2 record is a testament to his overall mediocrity.
On Tuesday night, in a start where his offense bailed him out of an early 2-0 hole and then staked him to a 6-2 lead, Eovaldi wasn’t even able to get through 5 IP as Girardi, rightfully, yanked him after 4.1 IP and 5 ERs. I don’t care what lineup he’s facing. With the Yankees offense struggling heading into the brief series against the Nationals, he needed to make that 6 run lead stand up.
He needed to fight his way through 6 IP, allowing Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller to give the team three innings and stop this slump. Instead, Eovaldi was, as Suzyn Waldman said on the WFAN broadcast, “singled to death.” He gave up hit after hit until the 6-2 lead was 6-5, and a bullpen that has had to work early and often gave up the lead and eventually the game.
Add in that Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees best offensive player, injured his knee while at bat and landed on the 15-Day D.L, and that Andrew Miller was tagged for his first earned runs of the season via a walk-off HR, and it was a terrible game for the Yankees.
Yankees fans need someone to blame and, tonight, it’s falling squarely on Cashman’s reclamation project. Eovaldi is nothing if not accountable, but apologies and promises to continue working will only buy him so much good will. Again, it is still too soon to judge him, but the clock is ticking and patience is wearing thin. Time for Eovaldi to show some results.