Since being acquired by the Miami Marlins in the trade that sent Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Nathan Eovaldi has done nothing but improve. Although you really should not judge a player by how much impact they have in the spring, it is important to note that Eovaldi started to get a little hot finishing spring with a 3.44 ERA, 16 strikeouts and 1.36 WHIP.
With the Marlins getting set for an Opening Week series against the Colorado Rockies, all the focus is going to be on Jose Fernandez to repeat his dominant rookie season. Without any pressure, Eovaldi can quietly become a very solid No. 2 pitcher in the organization. He bounced back from a terrible 2012 season to have a 4-6 year, posting a 3.39 ERA while striking out 78 batters and battling injury for most of the year.
This upcoming season, Eovaldi is not battling any injuries. There aren’t any other concerns surrounding him. There should not be any pressure because the Marlins have no real expectations. ZiPS projections have Eovaldi going 7-8 in 134.3 innings with a 4.09 ERA an 6.23 K/9. Those numbers are slightly worse than his 2013 numbers, but with two full seasons behind him, Eovaldi can do better.
Eovaldi will make his first start of the 2014 season at home against the Rockies. He is 1-2 with a 3.22 ERA against the Rockies in his career. At home last season, Eovaldi was 2-4 with a 4.01 ERA. To get his season started off right, he will have to pitch himself and the Marlins to a victory on day two of the regular season.