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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Nathan Eovaldi; high velocity, low strike outs. What, if anything, do the Yankees have in mind?

Nathan Eovaldi was the key player received by the Yankees in their trade of Martin Prado to the Marlins.

Martin Prado, the Yankees hardly knew ye.  Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What was the point?  Martin, the Yankees hardly knew ye.*

Martin Prado:

July 31, 2014: Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Yankees for Peter O'Brien (minors) and player to be named.

December 19, 2014: Traded by the New York Yankees with David Phelps and cash to the Miami Marlins for Domingo German (minors), Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones.

Eovaldi will be 25 in February.  We keep hearing that Eovaldi is a power pitcher.  Apparently they are looking at his average fast ball velocity among starters.  Here are the top four in 2014:

Garrett Richards Angles Born: May 27, 1988: Height: 6' 3", Weight: 210 lb. 96.4 mph    8.8 SO9  168.66 innings

Yordano Ventura Royals Born: June 3, 1991  Height: 6' 0", Weight: 180 lb. 96.0 mph  7.8 SO9  183 innings

Wily Peralta Brewers Born: May 8, 1989 Height: 6' 1", Weight: 245 lb. 95.6 mph  7.0 SO9  198.66 innings

Nathan Eovaldi Marlins Born: February 13, 1990: Height: 6' 2", Weight: 215 lb. 95.5 mph  6.4 SO9  199.66 innings

Eovaldi has the lowest strike out (SO) rate of the four but none average one SO per inning, which seems odd.  Apparently Yankee pitching coach Larry Rothschild is supposed to turn Eovaldi into a much more effective pitcher given what the Yankees perceive as a lot of raw talent.  Rothschild has a good reputation but he may have missed such an opportunity with Phil Hughes.  The Yankees did not even make a qualifying offer to Hughes when he became a free agent after the 2013 season.  The Twins signed Hughes to a modest contract and in 2014 Phil Hughes set the all time record for SO to Walks ratio.  The ALL TIME RECORD!

Batters are in real trouble as all the top seasons in SO/W are recent, most in this millennium.  In 2014 three pitchers moved into the top 16 slots:
1. Hughes
11.Clayton Kershaw 
16. David Price.

Nathan Eovaldi in 2014 in strike outs per 9 innings (SO9) among pitchers who qualified for leadership in averages was number 68, right behind Hector Noesi and ahead of Kyle Lohse.  Here are the leaders:

Nathan Eovaldi pitching for Dodgers in LA
June 30, 2012
by Cbl62 via Wikimedia Commons
So despite being number four in fastball velocity among starting pitchers, Nathan Eovaldi had a SO9 rate of only 6.40, number 68.  And despite being number 35 in innings pitched with 199.66, Eovaldi allowed the most hits: 223.  Larry Rothschild has a lot of work to do with Eovaldi.

This is the pitcher the Yankees found so compelling that they traded Martin Prado.  Some people are applauding the Yankees for getting younger.  Compared to what?  How could they have possibly gotten older than 40 year old shortstop Derek Jeter?  The Yankees will try a minor league player at second instead of Prado.  They could have done that and played 31 year old Prado at third; Prado was under contract for the next two seasons.  Instead the Yankees signed 30 year old free agent Chase Headley for four years at more annual money than they would have paid Prado for half the commitment and Headley has been much more injury prone than Prado.

What, if anything, do the Yankees have in mind?

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