Eovaldi got back to using his curve in 2019 and the results against it were much better. With a 16.3% SwStr rate and a 38.5% K rate, the curve became a true putaway pitch. The shape of pitch is different with less horizontal movement but he also lowered its zone rate which increased the chase rate against the pitch.
Eovaldi average nearly 98 mph on his fastball in 2019 but its pitch value took a hit due to a 28.6% HR/FB% against it. Despite elite velocity, his fastball is relatively straight. On a positive note, the FA whiff rate has improved each of the last four seasons.
Eovaldi decreased his cutter usage by 10% in 2019 and for good reason. With a SwStr% of a scant 3.4%, he could benefit from reducing the cutter’s usage in favor of his slider.
The splitter is Eovaldi’s primary offspeed pitch. It’s been successful at inducing weak contact and swings outside the zone. However, it’s performed below-average in terms of SwStr rate. Still, the splitter yielded just a 47 wRC+ in 2019 and remains solid secondary offering for Eovaldi.
Despite minimal usage, the slider induces swings and misses nearly as often as the curveball. The horizontal movement of his slider is similar to the curve but with less vertical drop. Eovaldi could benefit from throwing both his slider and curve more frequently in 2020.
Eovaldi threw the four-seamer at career-low rates last season. He can still hit triple-digits with it, but he has a variety of other offerings now. The four-seamer was great last season, as batters hit .206 against it.
Eovaldi brought the cutter back in 2016, though he wasn’t throwing very many. In 2018, it quadrupled in usage and became his No. 2 pitch. Eovaldi attacks the zone with it and gets chases.
Eovaldi’s splitter is his third pitch, having fallen behind the cutter in 2018. It has solid zone and chase rates, and is a few percentage points in the whiff category from being a Money Pitch.
The slider was Eovaldi’s primary breaking ball when he entered the big leagues, but it’s now his fourth pitch after he added a splitter and cutter. It performed well last season, barely missing Money Pitch status because of a 38.8% chase rate.
The curve lags well behind Eovaldi’s other four pitches in usage, and with good reason. It had a positive pitch value only once: 0.2 in 2015.