Down: Nathan Eovaldi
Nathan Eovaldi looked like a steal in his first two starts with the Red Sox after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays. In the first, he surrendered four hits over seven shutout innings; he was even better, if possible, in his second start, in which he allowed just three hits across eight innings against the Yankees. He looked like a rotation lock for the rest of the season, and possibly for the postseason as well.
However, since that August 4 start against New York, Eovaldi has been mediocre at best, and even that might be too generous. Beginning with a worryingly short outing on August 10, Eovaldi has pitched 22.1 innings and made six starts following his shutout of the Yankees. In that span, he’s allowed 17 earned runs and pitched more than five innings just once. In half of those starts, he allowed four or more runs.
Luckily, his issues are correctable. The command of his secondary stuff, which is what makes him so hard to hit, just hasn’t been there. If that’s caused by a problem in his mechanics, the Red Sox coaching staff will find and fix it. In the meantime, he needs to use his fastball, which can touch triple digits, more often to keep opponents off of his slower offerings. Even if Eovaldi doesn’t remain in the rotation for the postseason, he could still be an important bullpen option.