Thursday, May 25, 2023

Nastier Than Ever


Nate Eovaldi's Yankees tenure really was 7 years ago, wasn't it?

What a weird career this guy's had. Traded for Hanley Ramirez and then Martin Prado, goes 14-3 as a member of a mediocre Yankees team, misses all of 2017, spends exactly 10 games with a Rays team that signed him for 2 years, then gets dealt to Boston for a reliever who'd become the patron saint of its bullpen for better or worse, and becomes one of the most reliable arms in the game for a bit. It's so weird that this guy's been around for over a decade. Even weirder that he's a former Dodgers prospect. File with Edwin Jackson, Dave Stewart and former Camden Rivershark Dwight Maness in the category of Dodgers farm prospects I do not associate with the Dodgers.

Anyway, Nate's been on fire recently. He's already got 2 complete games and a shutout, leads the league in IP with 69.1, and sports a 6-2 record with a 2.60 ERA. For the Rangers, he is the perfect holdover until deGrom returns from the IL. For baseball, he is the guy we counted out in April that kept pounding and still can tear offenses apart like he did in Boston. It's nice, because Eovaldi and Martin Perez, who pitched together in Boston before, both have 6 wins and lead the team in IP. Perez is admittedly a little shakier than he was last year, but he's still a welcome rotation presence. Gray and Dunning have rebounded, Heaney's getting there, and this is all while the big star pitcher is gone. 

This is how they're doing without him. It's almost as if they prepared for Jacob deGrom straining his pitching arm or something.

The Rangers have been a seasonably satisfying success story. They just got Corey Seager back and he's still hitting really well. Semien and Lowe are running this team, with Semien already past 3.0 WAR. Jung, Heim and Duran are all looking awesome as future pieces. Adolis Garcia has 14 home runs and 49 RBIs. FORTY NINE RBIS IN MAY. And it's a big deal if you get 100 by September, and he's got 49 in May. And to think, the Cardinals must kick themselves that they let him go.

The combination of the big pieces playing well, the contracts coming through, and the re-ignition of Bruce Bochy's passion for the game is fueling this team's excellent start, and there's a chance they could keep it going through the year. The Angels, Astros and Mariners could chase them, but this is a great place for the Rangers to be after nearly 2 months of play.

Coming Tomorrow- An early Cy Young favorite in the NL.

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