Nathan Eovaldi Undergoes 2nd Tommy John Surgery
On Friday, the New York Yankees announced that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi underwent Tommy John Surgery, which is his second time undergoing the procedure. Eovaldi had his first Tommy John Surgery when he was 17 years of age while at Alvin High School. The surgery will sideline him until the end of the 2017 season, and it now leaves Eovaldi’s future with the Yankees up in the air.
Eovaldi entered 2016 in a contract year, poised to land a new deal and be a part of the Yankees’ youth movement. In 2016, Eovaldi went 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA in 21 starts. The potential is there for Eovaldi to be a pretty good starting pitcher, but ever since he was acquired from the Miami Marlins in the 2014 off-season, he hasn’t been able to finish the season healthy.
Last September, Eovaldi was sidelined due to inflammation in his pitching elbow, which always raises the concern level to a ten when it comes to a pitcher’s arm or elbow. Eovaldi has been known as a power pitcher, sporting a fastball in the 98-99 MPH range. When he was traded to the Yankees, the pitching staff encouraged him to work on establishing a splitter to help keep hitters off balance.
This upcoming off-season, the Yankees will have to make a decision regarding Eovaldi’s future in Pinstripes. Eovaldi has the stuff, but it’s not putting away hitters in two strike counts that’s played a big part in his ERA being over four. The concern should be after a second Tommy John Surgery, will Eovaldi be at least the same pitcher as was before? If Eovaldi isn’t blowing hitters away with his fastball or keeping them off balance with his splitter, it’s going to be a struggle for him.
If the Yankees realize those things that might very well happen, expect the Yankees to be active in the trade market this upcoming off-season. If they’re still confident in Eovaldi and feel his second Tommy John Surgery won’t limit him as much when he returns in 2018, expect the Yankees to sign him to a contract extension after the season ends.
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