Marlins Rumors: Nathan Eovaldi to Bullpen?


Marlins Rumors: Nathan Eovaldi to Bullpen?

The Miami Marlins had an interesting season when it came to their starting pitchers in 2014. A rotation that was supposed to be among the best in baseball essentially fell apart when the team lost Jose Fernandez for the season with his elbow injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery.

One of the starters that the Marlins had hoped would step up in the absence of their ace was starter Nathan Eovaldi. Unfortunately that never happened for the team. Eovaldi actually posted the best peripherals numbers of his career, but his bad luck saw his ERA dip above 4.00.

On the season, Eovaldi posted a career best 3.37 FIP and a 3.78 xFIP, but his ERA was a full run higher than his FIP and nearly a full run higher than his ERA last season.

Part of the reason for Eovaldi’s issues were due to his off-speed pitches not catching up to the caliber of his fastball. While the Marlins still believe in Eovaldi as a starter, the team could look to move Eovaldi to the bullpen if his off-speed pitches don’t shape up soon, according to Joe Frisaro of (

"2) Nathan Eovaldi — Starter to reliever: The fastball velocity is certainly there, but Eovaldi’s secondary pitches continue to be a work in progress. The 24-year-old finished the season with two promising starts, but he had a rough campaign overall, going 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA in 33 starts. He did log 199 2/3 innings.If Eovaldi’s offspeed pitches improve, there is no question he will remain in the rotation. If not, he could be headed to the bullpen, where he could get by with a fastball and breaking ball. As a starter, he needs at least three pitches to keep hitters off balance."

Eovaldi got off to a hot start to the season, posting a 2.19 FIP in the month of April. Eovaldi struck out an impressive 8 hitters per nine innings in his fantastic month. After that month, Eovaldi’s strikeout numbers fell the next few months and as a result, so did the rest of his numbers.

Still, Eovaldi posted an impressive 3.37 FIP for the season and that number should be a number the Marlins keep in mind, as Eovaldi has more potential value in the rotation than the bullpen.

In fact, I’d argue the Marlins would get more value out of Eovaldi as a trade chip than they would as a bullpen arm. He’s under team control and still has promise as a starter, if he can tweak his off-speed pitches.