LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees' Eovaldi Giving #NastyNate Bad Meaning In June

Monday, June 20, 2016

Yankees' Eovaldi Giving #NastyNate Bad Meaning In June

The danger with non-organically created player nicknames is that they are ripe for mocking when things turn for the worse. Take Nathan Eovaldi for instance. For every start, the Yankees pull out the #NastyNate hashtag. It would seem to be fit for a fire-baller. Not for Eovaldi.

Four starts, an 0-2 record and a 9.00 ERA. That’s Eovaldi’s record in June. He averages 97+ on his fastball (the MLB average is around 93 mph) but continues to get slapped around. He has been inconsistent for most of the season, averaging less than 6.0 IP per start, but it has been masked by the atrocious play of his rotation mates, namely Luis Severino and Michael Pineda. 

However, with the former sent off to the minors and the latter showing signs of returning to respectability, eyes are starting to turn to #NastyNate and it’s tough to decipher what they’re seeing.

The Sunday loss was typical Eovaldi. A few dominant innings but at least one rough one that cost the team the game. He gave up 4 ERs in just 5.1 IP (to be fair, Dellin Betances allowed two of his inherited runners to score) and, as usual gave up more hits than innings pitched and struck out only two opposing batters. This against the team with the 3rd most strikeouts in the American League.

On the 2016 season, Eovaldi has given up 88 hits in 80.2 IP and has struck out just 70. He leaves himself no room for error. For a pitcher who should be entering his prime, this trend is concerning. Not that the Yankees didn’t know his history when they traded for him before the 2015 season. Eovaldi seemed to find something in the 2nd half of last season, however, and the hope was that he could carry it over into 2016.

So far he has been hit or miss. Sunday’s game against the Twins should have been a hit. It was one the Yankees needed (sure it may be selfish to want a sweep of a four game series but the Twins have a winning percentage barely over .300) and Eovaldi simply couldn’t deliver.

Eovaldi gets another crack at the Twins in his next start.  A rebound performance would be nice. Otherwise #NastyNate will continue to take on a new meaning.

No comments: