Nathan Eovaldi was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the summer of last season in a trade that sent long-time Miami Marlins infielder Hanley Ramirez west. The trade marked the start of the rebuilding of the organization and the slash and burn tactics used by Jeffrey Loria and the rest of the front office in the months to follow.
When Eovaldi made his way to the rotation, he struggled mightily. I did not agree with Eovaldi even being in the rotation at the time. The 22-year-old did not really do anything to earn a spot and his numbers were not great.
In 12 starts for the Marlins, he was 3-7 with a 4.43 ERA and allowed 70 hits to the 235 batters he faced. Coming into Spring Training this season I thought he would be on the hot seat to lose his starting job to a pitcher like Kevin Slowey, Alex Sanabia or Brad Hand. However, Eovaldi has surprised not only me, but his team as well and has put up numbers that have impressed for the most part.
Knock on wood, Eovaldi will keep it up. In four games this spring, he has compiled a 2-0 record with a 3.29 ERA and 11 strikeouts. His K/9 is 7.2 in 13.2 innings. He has also only allowed five runs. Now, it may still be early yet in March, depending on who you’re asking, but he ha shown me some things. He is doing better than Slowey, Sanabia and Hand. Slowey has only earned one start in four games he has appeared in while Eovaldi has been given the right to start and has shown why he deserves it, so far.
Eovaldi still has a lot to do before he reaches his prime. However, his performances in spring is definitely a good start.