Monday, March 16, 2015

Yankees weekend news wrap: Eovaldi showing promise

With each trip to the mound this spring, New York Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi has shown something more than the previous outing. Sunday, he stymied the Philadelphia Phillies through four innings of shutout ball. Eovaldi allowed just two hits, walked none and struck out three batters. He faced the minimum 12 hitters, throwing 45 pitches in his third appearance of the spring.

Eovaldi is working on all his pitches at this point and so far the results have been promising. Across nine innings, he’s allowed just one run, seven hits and struck out nine without walking a batter. Allowing zero walks is impressive when combined with a strikeout per inning, and Eovaldi was pleased with his progress.

"Today, overall everything felt pretty good," Eovaldi said according to’s Adam Berry. "For the most part today, I was able to throw all four of my pitches, so that's a good sign."

Eovaldi projects to be the fourth starter in the rotation and will be expected to log a significant number of innings with the uncertainty surrounding CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda from a health standpoint.

Manager Joe Girardi is expecting good things from Eovaldi.

"You can't expect much more," Girardi said via Berry. "We're really excited to have him in camp with us as one of our starters. We think he can do a really good job for us."

Headley swinging hot bat

While a majority of the Yankees continue to struggle at the plate, third baseman Chase Headley has found his groove, cranking a solo home run in Sunday’s contest. Headley is batting .364 (8-for-22) with two doubles and the homer.

Headley looking alive at the plate removes any discussion about Alex Rodriguez having a chance at third base, especially with A-Rod surprisingly hitting .353 (6-for-17) thus far this spring. The media frenzy that would have developed if Headley wasn’t hitting while A-Rod does would certainly cause an unnecessary stir.

Pineda swaggers through three no-hit innings

Pineda is showing enormous confidence early on this spring which might indicate that he is feeling quite healthy at the moment. His performances to date have been dazzling.

In his second start of the spring Saturday, Pineda tossed three scoreless, no-hit innings with four strikeouts and one walk, helping the Yankees to a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Pineda has not allowed a run in five total innings and opponents have managed just one hit and one walk thus far. Pineda, who has six strikeouts during the span, is content with his progress.

"My changeup and [other] pitches were working really good," Pineda said according to Berry. "The command is still good. I was very happy."

Fifth-starter competition is heating up

Girardi is going to have a tough decision ahead of him if each of the main competitors for the fifth-starter role continue to impress this spring.

Esmil Rogers threw three scoreless innings Saturday, Chase Whitley added two of his own Sunday and Adam Warren allowed two runs in three innings against a collection of Boston Red Sox regulars Friday night.

It is conceivable that each of the three pitchers mentioned grabs a spot on the 25-man roster when camp breaks, but the roles are not certain. With Chris Capuano out for several weeks due to a quad strain, the last spot in the rotation is wide-open as are three relief roles.

It would seem that Warren and Rogers are going to make the club, but Whitley might be placed at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to remain completely stretched out in case a spot starter is needed.

First cuts send Cave, Judge and Severino to minor league camp

The Yankees cut 10 players from major league camp Sunday including promising prospects Jake Cave, Aaron Judge and Luis Severino according to Chad Jennings of The LoHud Yankees Blog. Minor league camp begins Friday, March 20.

Cave went 5-for-12 with a home run and four RBI, Judge was 3-for-12 with a homer and Severino tossed 2.2 innings allowing six hits and two earned runs. Severino did strikeout five batters showing glimpses of his electric stuff.

It is expected that each of the three players will begin the season at Double-A Trenton.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a correspondent for FantasyPros, where he writes a weekly column covering the closer/bullpen situations around Major League Baseball. His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports, the FanSided network, Sportsideo and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.