Eovaldi to undergo TJ surgery

New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann, left, talks to starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, in New York. Eovaldi gave up two home runs in the inning. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Yankees starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi announced today that he will undergo Tommy Johnsurgery after tearing the flexor tendor and partially tearing the UCL in his right elbow. Eovaldi lasted just 12 pitches in a August 10 start at Boston before having to come out of the game.

Eovaldi will miss the entire 2017 season and is due to become a free agent in 2018, so his Yankees career might well be over.

Acquired in a trade with Miami before the 2015 season – David Phelps and Martin Prado went the other way – Eovaldi has had his ups-and-downs in the Bronx. He went 14-3 in 27 starts last season but did so with a 1.451 WHIP. He allowed 175 hits in 154 1/3 innings last year.

This year, he was 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA in 24 games, 21 of which were starts. Eovaldi gave up fewer hits this year, but he allowed more home runs. He allowed 1.7 homers per nine innings this season, compared to 0.6 last year.

Eovaldi is one of the hardest throwers in the game. He averaged 98 miles per hour on his fastball from May through July.

Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery in high school and typically a second procedure requires a longer recovery time. Could his future come as a reliever? He has one great pitch – the fastball – and could thrive in a one-inning-at-a-time role in the later innings. Eovaldi, however, will have to prove that he’s healthy enough to pitch after he recovers from the surgery.

In case you didn’t catch the late Mets game from Arizona last night, the Mets lost another game to the Diamondbacks and again hit the .500 mark at 59-59. Arizona has won all four games in the season series with the Mets.

There is some light on the horizon for the Mets. Yoenis Cespedes is slated to return on Friday. Asdrubal Cabrera could be back by the weekend.

The Mets will bank on those additions to an offense that has struggled mightily. Only the Braves (422) have scored fewer runs than the Mets (438) in all of Major League Baseball. The Mets are dead-last in batting average (.236), 27th in on-base percentage (.306) and 23rd in slugging (.401).

The other good news is that the club remains in the thick of the NL Wild Card race. The Mets are three games out and trail the Dodgers, Marlins, Cardinals and Pirates with 44 games to play. Many of those games are against the Braves, Phillies and Marlins, so despite the rough past few months, a playoff trip isn’t out of the question.

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