Yankees’ Nathan Eovaldi: We’re Winning the World Series


New York Yankees starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi spoke with Steve Serby of the New York Times, and was very high on his team’s chances in 2016. 

After missing the final month of the 2015 regular season with an elbow injury, the 26-year-old righty is healthy and excited about what lies ahead in his second year in the Bronx.

"Q: What is your message to Yankees fans about what kind of team and season they should expect?A: Championship season. A lot of winning.Q: You’re more optimistic than most.A: I’m tellin’ ya, we’re gonna have a great team this year. Everybody’s sleeping on us.Q: Why is everybody sleeping on the Yankees?A: I don’t know. I don’t know why they’re sleeping on us."

If the Yankees are going to have a chance, they’ll need a repeat of Eovaldi’s 14-3 record in 27 starts last year. His absence on the mound proved to be devastating in 2015 as the Yankees blew a 7.5 AL East lead without “Nasty Nate” on the hill.

“Especially the season I was having last year, you never want to go down getting hurt,” Eovaldi said. “That was frustrating, not being able to finish the season healthy.”

But is it rational to think New York can clinch their 28th World Championship?

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  • Playoff baseball returned to the Bronx in 2015 after a two year absence but it was short lived as they were handed an early exit by the Houston Astros in the American League Wild Card game.

    Their offense was the greatest aspect of the team, finishing second in the league in runs scored with 764, 10th in slugging percentage with .421%, fourth in home runs with 212, and fifth in total bases, according to Baseball Reference. 

    Coming off a year long absence from baseball in 2014, Alex Rodriguez surpassed expectations by being a threat in the middle of the lineup by smashing 33 home runs and driving in 86 runs in his first full season as a designated hitter. Mark Texeira resurrected his career, finishing with 31 home runs, his highest total since 2011, and being in the MVP talks before he broke his leg during the heat of the Yankees’ playoff run.

    The pitching staff struggled with consistency and health a year ago as Yankee starters averaged a dismal 5 1/3 innings pitched and ranked 19th in ERA, but there are reasons to be optimistic.

    Masahiro Tanaka went through the entire season without facing problems with a partially torn UCL in his right elbow that cut his rookie year short. Luis Severino went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA as a rookie, and Eovaldi recorded a career-high 14 wins in his first season in New York.

    You should also be pumped about the additions, second baseman Starlin Castro and closer Aroldis Chapman. Castro brings an athletic middle infield combo with Didi Gregorius along with flexibility in the lineup. He was a shortstop, getting work in at third base, and can hit anywhere in the lineup.

    They certainly need a step up from a questionable rotation, but the team has made the necessary moves to make them a dark horse to win the World Series.

    “The starter’s job is to go out there and go nine innings regardless who’s in the bullpen,” Eovaldi said. “But I can go out there and do my job and I got Dellin [Betances][Andrew] Miller and Chapman coming in and slamming the door behind.”

    We all hear things like “if the team is healthy” or “if manager Joe Girardi maximizes potential” the Yankees have a shot. But we tend to ignore the human element of belief, the one thing every World Series team needs.

    Eovaldi certainly demonstrates confidence in his much improved team. Step one in the Chase for 28.

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