Nathan Eovaldi To Return For Red Sox But With Different Role
Nathan Eovaldi entered this season poised to serve as a strong component to an intimidating Boston starting rotation that already included impressive hurlers such as Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price. However, an elbow surgery changed his plans, which led to the Red Sox cataloging him onto the team’s injured list and stowing him away for months at a time.
Nathan Eovaldi is flying with the team to Baltimore. He won’t be activated tomorrow but will likely be ready Saturday if there are no setbacks.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 18, 2019
After an impressive performance during a rehab stint for the Pawtucket Red Sox this week where he struck out the side and allowed only one walk during his only inning pitched, the Red Sox reportedly plan to activate the hard-throwing righty before their series at Camden Yards this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles. Upon his return, the Red Sox apparently wish to switch things up and plan to hand Eovaldi the bal,l not as starter going forward, but instead as a reliever.
Nathan Eovaldi seems pretty good right now … pic.twitter.com/4Mh8GyVjHf
— The Bradfo Sho (@Bradfo_Sho) July 15, 2019
Nathan Eovaldi strikes out the side with the @PawSox.
Fastball: 98 MPH
Cutter: 94 MPH
Curveball: threw 2 and got backwards K’s on both pic.twitter.com/HKgERjQJXn
— Mike Monaco (@MikeMonaco_) July 18, 2019
Poor bullpen pitching repeatedly appears as the Achilles heal for the defending champs, which likely stands a the key factor behind Eovaldi’s role change. The Red Sox currently lead the American League with 18 blown saves, which certainly has something to do with the team’s current stance outside looking in on the playoff picture as we begin the season’s second half. Although an official statement confirming it remains unreleased, Eovaldi appears as a likely candidate to serve as the team’s new closer. Since the team recently acquired starter Andrew Cashner and closer experiments with both Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier failed miserably, Eovaldi looks to fill a hole that requires his services to the greatest extent.
NESN reports that the Red Sox finally have a closer, RHP Nathan Eovaldi is expected to be named the traditional closer once he comes back from his injury and that should be soon.
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) July 2, 2019
“Just throwing every day and being ready to go everyday. I’ve been trying to do that now and get my mind right for it, but until you get through that situation and actually go through it — we’ll see how it goes then,” said Eovaldi after his minor league outing.
Last year, Eovaldi served as a imperative piece that helped Boston win their ninth title and pitched effectively with a 3.81 ERA while striking out 101 batters during his 111 innings.