Thursday, August 18, 2016
EOVALDI OUT UNTIL 2017... OR FOR GOOD
The Yankees have another challenge to deal with now but that has been the theme for 2016 so I guess it is no surprise. This time, the Yankees will have to decide how to handle the loss of Nathan Eovaldi. After making so many cuts in the past weeks, the Yankees have to deal with the surprising loss of a pitcher in an already thin rotation.
Unlucky Eovaldi will need not just one operation but two to correct the discomfort he experienced last week in his start against the Red Sox where he only lasted 12 pitches in the first inning. Eovaldi will have surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon and a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Ouch!
If Eovaldi needs to be fitted with a new UCL during surgery this will be his second experience with Tommy John surgery. He had his first Tommy John surgery back when he was in high school but that with the repair to the torn flexor tendon likely means that the recovery period will be longer and more difficult. Unfortunately, time is not on Eovaldi's side this time. More time could mean the end of his career in a Yankees uniform.
Eovaldi is going into his final season of arbitration eligibility and will likely want more money than his current $5.6 million salary this season. Unless the Yankees try to work out a multi-year arrangement then Eovaldi will likely be non-tendered this fall. Based on his inconsistent performance, I doubt the Yankees will take that approach so we may not see him in a Yankees uniform again.
Eovaldi has a good fastball and good ground ball rate but he has made too much hard contact with opponents. He's also given up 1.7 home runs per nine innings which has helped inflate his 4.76 ERA this season. If the Yankees continue with this youth movement they may decide to build around other pitchers who are younger and cost controlled pitching.
This is a tough blow for the Yankees. Joe Girardi was certainly counting on him to help get the Yankees closer to a possible wild card berth and now the Yankees will have to continue to evaluate other options in an already thin rotation.
Is this the end for Eovaldi? Who knows. No matter what happens, we hope you have a speedy recover Evo.
We are pulling for ya!
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
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