Rangers Continue Rotation Overhaul with Nathan Eovaldi

It’s been an eventful offseason for the Texas Rangers. Texas has a new manager in Bruce Bochy, and the front office beefed up the Rangers’ rotation with a number of pickups. One more name can be added to the list of additions to the 2023 Texas Rangers, in RHP Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth $34 million, as Texas continues its push to compete with the Seattle Mariners and intrastate rival Houston.

Related: How the Braves’ Bullpen Stacks Up Entering 2023

A Look at Eovaldi

Former Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi heads to the Rangers after a relatively successful run with Boston. The right-hander joined Boston in 2018, after being dealt from Tampa a week before the Trade Deadline. Eovaldi shined down the stretch for the Sox, and followed up a solid run in the regular season with a terrific postseason run. For the World Series champions in 2018, Eovaldi recorded a 1.61 ERA and 0.81 WHIP across 22.1 IP in the 2018 MLB Playoffs.

Sans a rough 2019, the rest of Eovaldi’s tenure of Boston flipped the narrative on the right-hander who struggled with control and command during the early parts of his career. The 32-year-old turned in BB/9 rates below 2.0 in each of the last three seasons, including a league-leading 1.7 in 2021. Arguably Eovaldi’s season came in 2021, as the righty struck out 195 over 182.1 IP and came in fourth in the AL Cy Young award vote that season.

Eovaldi uses five pitches in his arsenal, highlighted by a hard fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 90’s and a splitter. The splitter is a real change-of-pace weapon that is tough to pick up and can be used effectively against left-handed and right-handed hitters. Last season, Eovaldi’s splitter had a Whiff% rate% of 39.1% last season.

Additionally, the 32-year-old has a sweeping curveball that can miss bats. Other weapons that Eovaldi utilizes are a slider and cut fastball.

Eovaldi is the kind of workhouse, middle of the rotation arm that can make an impact for a competitive team. Now, he’s set to join a Texas Rangers squad that will look much different in 2023, at least in the rotation.

What it Means

Eovaldi is set to join a rotation that includes the prize of Andrew Heaney, Jon Gray, Martín Pérez, and the prize of Texas’ offseason splurge in star right-hander Jacob deGrom. Not to mention, the Rangers also grabbed Jake Odorizzi in a deal with the Braves earlier in the offseason. The difference between the Rangers’ rotation from 2022 and 2023 is nearly night and day; aside from Pérez, Texas’ rotation in 2022 was inconsistent. Now, the Rangers are set to trot out one of the game’s better pitching staffs.

Health will be the key to how well this rotation holds up in 2023. Eovaldi had two IL stints in 2022, and the injury histories of Heaney and deGrom are well-documented. If the bulk of this rotation can avoid the IL, the Rangers could make a run at one of the three Wild Card spots in the American League. It’s hard to consider the Rangers a favorite in the AL West given the presence of the Mariners and World Series champion Houston Astros, but Texas now boasts a rotation that can set this group up for success next season.

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