Sunday, August 2, 2015

Is Nathan Eovaldi Throwing Enough Innings?

Many have been extremely critical of Nathan Eovaldi in his short tenure as a member of the New York Yankees, and not without good reason. At the beginning of the season my stance was always that Eovaldi was donned as a work in progress and of course I preached sample size. Eovaldi was brought to the Yankees not to be an ace but to be a fifth starter in the rotation basically, for the sake of this post anyway we'll go with fifth starter as it could be argued that he was a fourth starter but that is simply sematics.

Since Eovaldi has seemingly "figured it out" by adding a splitter to his repetoire the knock on him has been his inability to pitch late into ball game. Is this a legitimate beef with a guy who is donned as the team's fifth starter(on the depth chart, not according to performance)? I didn't think so but rather than simply throw my opinion out there I decided to take a look at the history of the Yankees in my lifetime with their fifth starters and how it translated to how deep they went into games.

Keep in mind that the game has changed drastically over the past four or five seasons, especially in New York. Back in the late 90's and throughout the 2000's the emphasis was more or less on strong starting pitching and bashing the hell out of the opponent. Lately the emphasis has changed to strong and deeper bullpens, shortening the games, etc. Naturally with that you would theoretically see your fifth start especially being affected by this mindset which I think it shown on the graph above.

The problem is not that Eovaldi is throwing less than six innings in a start, the problem is that Brian Cashman made moved that forced our fifth starter into a potential five game series playoff start. It's Cashman and company that still believe in CC Sabathia a lot more than we all do, it is Cashman and company that moved Adam Warren back to the bullpen and it is Cashman who did not upgrade the team before the July 31st trade deadline. Luis Severino is on the way, let's hope he's the savior and this all becomes a moot point.

*all stats courtesy of Baseball Reference 

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