Saturday, January 24, 2015

Eovaldi looking to fix bad habits with Yankees

Yankees pitcher Nathan Eovaldi has an idea of why he struggled so much last season.

The 24-year-old ex-Marlin is planning to use his fastball less when he joins the Yankees in 2015, he recently revealed in a conversation with

Eovaldi believes his heater was part of the reason he surrendered 223 hits last year, the most in the National League. His quickest pitch, widely considered his signature one, tended to reach the high-90s during his tenure with Miami, but didn't seem to affect his stats positively. 

"I feel like in a way, because I rely on my fastball so much and my walks were down, batters were starting to be more selective and wait for the fastball," Eovaldi said. "Toward the end of the season, I started moving the ball in and out a lot better, and I'll continue that this year, mixing in off-speed pitches. I think it'll be a different year, for sure."

Eovaldi went just 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA in 199 2/3 IP last season, but did in fact improve by his last two starts. He gave up just two earned runs in 13 innings in that pair of outings, still losing both of them.

Eovaldi said he is hoping to duplicate that late-September performance with the Yankees, as well as improve on it. 

"I'm real excited to be in that division," he said. "The Yankees, they either love you or hate you, so I'm looking forward to it. I've been throwing really well this offseason, and hopefully I'll be able to repeat last year and have some more wins and a better ERA while keeping the innings up there."

Eovaldi is expected to be in the middle of the Yankees' rotation next season, likely occupying either the no.3 or no.4 spot. It's probable whichever slot he doesn't fill will instead have CC Sabathia in it, with Chris Capuano following the two of them.

The Yankees cut ties with utlility man Martin Prado and reliever David Phelps in order to acquire Eovaldi's services in a trade December 19, an apparent showing of their confidence in his talent.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)