This is what Nate Eovaldi looked like after his first start for the Dodgers, a win on Aug. 6, 2011 in Arizona. (Getty Images)
It was said a couple days ago on the Dodgers’ broadcast that Nate Eovaldi‘s fastball is up to 100 mph these days. Sure enough, FanGraphs don’t lie.
Before the Dodgers dealt Eovaldi to the Miami Marlins in the Hanley Ramirez trade last year, the right-hander could dial up his fastball to 98-99. This year, batters are hitting .201 off his fastball — which bottoms out around 89 mph, a notable spread — and .269 off his other pitches, a cutter, curve, change, slider and two-seam fastball.
It’s easy to forget that Eovaldi was 22 at the time of his trade and that his arm probably had more in it. Now he’s 23 and coming off a serious bout of inflammation in his right shoulder that left him on the disabled list until June, and throwing harder.
The extra speed didn’t help much five days ago, when Eovaldi (2-3) endured the worst outing of his career. He was shelled for 11 runs by the San Francisco Giants, nine earned, on 12 hits in just three innings. The Marlins lost 14-10 and Eovaldi became the second pitcher to allow 11 or more runs in a game this season.
Eovaldi’s skill is raw but unrefined, which merely means that he fits in with the rest of the Marlins. Certainly the Dodgers have no buyer’s remorse on Ramirez. Still, it will be interesting to see how Eovaldi fares tonight against Zack Greinke — who, by the way, has the best ERA in the majors (min. 40 inning pitched) since July 8:
1. Greinke 1.45 (9 ER/56.0 IP)
2. Jose Fernandez, MIA 1.53
3. Hiroki Kuroda, NYY 1.54
4. Clayton Kershaw, LAD 1.56 (9 ER/52.0 IP)
5. Jarred Cosart, HOU 1.60
6. Yu Darvish, TEX 1.73
Some bullet points for a hump day: