Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nathan Eovaldi makes the Dodgers look smart for not signing Roy Oswalt

Look, there's no debating the illustrious career of Roy Oswalt, but perhaps it was a good thing he didn't sign with the Dodgers.

Oswalt signed with the Rangers on Tuesday -- 1 year, $5 million plus $1 million in incentives. That's a pretty decent price and I wouldn't have been opposed to the Dodgers picking him up on a similar deal. But when Nathan Eovaldi has a season debut like he had against Milwaukee, it makes losing out on Oswalt -- who really didn't want to play in Los Angeles -- much more bearable.

Eovaldi threw seven innings of two-run ball last night. The only mistake he made was to Ryan Braun, the reigning National League MVP. The fact the Dodgers couldn't give him any run support is not his fault.

I was also impressed he was able to go seven innings on 90 pitches in his first big league start of the season. His longest outing in the minors was seven innings and was the longest of his Major League career. Not only that, he did it while averaging 95 MPH on both of his fastballs. That's impressive.

He was, however, surprisingly even on groundouts and fly outs (9-9) after posting a 1.75 rate with Chattanooga this season. But he was able to keep the Milwaukee bats in check.

Granted, the Brewers' lineup isn't as good as in years past, thanks to the loss of Prince Fielder and the struggles of Rickie Weeks, but Eovaldi had little trouble dispatching with some solid hitters.

If Eovaldi can step in for Ted Lilly admirably, the Dodgers can focus their resources on improving the offense -- something that is more pressing than another starting pitcher.

Of course, teams like the Mets and White Sox need to stop winning so guys like David Wright and Paul Konerko become available.

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Here's my latest "Down on the Farm" report at ChadMoriyama.com. Here's an excerpt:
"Can there really be a Pitcher Of The Week when the staff allowed 57 runs in seven games? Sure. This week, it’s Ely. Elymania posted a great line this week: 14 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 13 K. This is his second POTW honor, and it’s really surprising to see such a good performance from him in a week the team allowed so many runs. In fact, if you take away Ely’s three runs allowed, the rest of the Isotopes staff allowed 54 runs. That’s … ugly.

After a rough start to the season, Ely has put up some great numbers in an extreme hitter’s league: 3.58 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 0.7 HR/9, 2.2 BB/9, 9.7 K/9, 4.33 BB/K and a 1.85 groundout to flyout rate. He wouldn’t be nearly this good in the majors, but it’s nice to see him pitching well in case the Dodgers need an emergency starter later this season."

John Ely is having a fantastic season for the Isotopes and is renewing faith in myself (for whatever that's worth) that he can be a decent emergency starting pitcher option, if needed.

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