Sean Manaea – Oakland A’s
He’s put together back-to-back strong rehabilitation starts allowing a total of 3 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 18, over 11.2 IP (though there were two weeks between his starts due to some soreness in his side). He showed no ill effects on Tuesday and he was allowed to throw 82 pitches in the outing. That would make you think that he may just be one start away from returning to the Majors for his 2019 debut (if Oakland even deems it’s necessary for an additional rehab outing).
Of course just because he’s close doesn’t necessarily make Manaea a must target waiver option. Over 464.0 IP in the Majors he owns a 7.22 K/9 and 44.1% groundball rate, neither of which is going to impress you. With home runs up across the game this season the groundball rate is of particular concern, as it could lead to some significant issues.
While he’s shown strikeouts in the minors there’s no guarantee that he’s able to carry it into the Majors. If he can, with solid control throughout his career, there is at least streaming potential for the southpaw though he could develop into even more if he’s keeping the ball in the ballpark. That helps keep him short of being a must grab, but in deeper formats he’s worth stashing to find out.
Nathan Eovaldi – Boston Red Sox
Remember when he was supposed to return as the closer? That’s clearly out the window, as word has started circulating that he’s going to be stretched back out as a starter. Keep in mind that he hasn’t thrown more than 40 pitches in an appearance since returning from the IL, so it’s going to take a few turns before he’s capable of throwing 80+ pitches in a start. If we are figuring he’s ready to roll around September 1, is a month of Eovaldi enough to make you want to pounce on him?
While he made some noise last season he’s had home runs issues in two of the past three seasons (1.66 HR/9 as a member of the Yankees in ’17, 1.99 In ’19). That alone is a significant red flag, and when coupled with a drop in his SwStr% (8.3%) there’s little reason for optimism.
Sure he’s generally shown good control throughout his career, but pitching in the AL East that’s simply not enough. Of course yesterday’s relief appearance now throws his role back into question. Will he start? Will he relieve? At this point that’s anyone’s guess.
Updating our Starting Pitcher Waiver Priority:
- Mitch Keller (PIT)
- Aaron Civale (CLE)
- Joe Ross (WAS) – We discussed him in detail in this morning’s column, which you can read by clicking here.
- Adrian Houser (MIL)
- Sean Manaea (OAK)
- Cal Quantrill (SD)
- Kolby Allard (TEX)
- Nathan Eovaldi (BOS)
- Mike Montgomery (KC)
- Sandy Alcantara (MIA)
Sources – Fangraphs, ESPN