Yankees’ Editorial: Bronx is Boiling: Hopes for 2015

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Sep 6, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (24) pitches the ball in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

3. Nathan Eovaldi to come into his own.

The Yankees parted with a future major league DH/ Catcher in Peter O’Brien to snag Martin Prado last season. It was ok with Yankees’ fans because Prado played his brains out and became enamored in the Bronx. The trade for Eovaldi and Garrett Jones raised many question marks amongst the fan base.

I, too, would have loved to have rolled into 2015 with Prado at second or third base, but alas he is not. Jones was an under-the-radar huge piece in the trade because last season there was no legitimate back-up first baseman on the roster for the injury-riddled Mark Teixeira. But, Eovaldi was the centerpiece and he needs to shine.

The Yankees’ aren’t asking Eovaldi to be an ace or even a top end rotation pitcher. They need him to be the fourth pitcher in the rotation and come May when Nova is expected to return, he could become one of the best fifth pitchers in the league.

It is concerning that Eovaldi was the most hittable pitcher in baseball last season surrendering a National League high 223 hits. His walk rate, however dropped nearly two points to a career low of 1.9 per nine innings and he rarely allowed a home run. If Eovaldi remains hittable in Yankees Stadium, the home run rate can change.

That’s why it is important that Eovaldi is working on his secondary pitches this spring. If the 25-year old righty can mature into the pitcher that the Dodgers envisioned when they drafted him, the Yankees will win in the Prado deal.

Next: The Future Ace