Red Sox: Three up, three down heading into the All-Star break
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched since the middle of April. He’s still recovering from surgery to remove loose bodies from his pitching elbow, and there is still no exact date for his return to the mound. So, why is he on the positive side of the ledger this month? Because he’s close, and because the Red Sox need him.
Boston reportedly expects Eovaldi back shortly after the All-Star break and will use him as their regular closer. The Red Sox need bullpen reinforcements badly (more on that later), and Eovaldi could thrive in relief. We already know he loves the big moment. His legendary relief appearance against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series both endeared him to Red Sox Nation and proved that there is no challenge too big for him.
A move to the ‘pen could benefit Eovaldi as much as it does the Sox. The righty has dominating stuff, there’s no questioning that. When he’s on and healthy, he’s as good as anyone. However, Eovaldi has struggled, throughout his career, with two things: consistency and injuries. The bullpen would minimize his innings and help protect his arm and his command. It’s likely that the Red Sox will get the best version of Eovaldi by naming him closer.