The Boston Red Sox could be getting a serious boost to their pitching corps this weekend as Nathan Eovaldi may be getting activated from the IL.
As the Red Sox prepare for Friday’s game in Baltimore they may be getting some good news in relation to their bullpen. Fireballing right-hander Nathan Eovaldi has made his way to Camden Yards with the team in hopes that he’ll be activated from the IL. The rumored plan when he is reinstated to the active roster will see him become the new Boston closer.
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It’s been a long season for Eovaldi as what was supposed to be routine surgery to clean up some bone fragments in his elbow has taken far longer to recover from. As his recovery progressed there were multiple setbacks due to mechanics and some soreness in his biceps. But with a strong outing in Pawtucket yesterday it looks like Nasty Nate is very close to a return.
His return will rest on whether or not he feels anything in the repaired throwing arm. If Eovaldi is feeling good today then all signs point to his return to the roster this weekend in Baltimore. During his rehab assignment in Pawtucket, it looked as if Nate didn’t miss a single inning of work. He was able to strike out the side against Louisville as well as hit 98MPH on the radar gun.
"“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and then we’ll make a decision,” manager Alex Cora said."
As far as the role is concerned having him in the bullpen may be the best option for both Eovaldi and the team. He has twice gone through Tommy John surgery as well as two of these maintenance surgeries. So for the longevity of his career having him throw less could mean wonders for both sides.
The negative is that the Red Sox paid him some serious cash (4-years/$68M) in the offseason to be a starter. But things haven’t quite worked out and he may become one of the highest-paid relievers in the game. Dave Dombrowski was also proactive with the impending return of Eovaldi to the bullpen and added Andrew Cashner from the Orioles to the Red Sox starting rotation. With the acquisition of Cashner and return of Eovaldi two massive holes in the Red Sox armor are getting filled.
"“I feel really good,” Eovaldi said. “Fastball felt good, cutter felt good. I didn’t throw any splits today but I threw two curveballs and they felt really good coming out of the hand.”"
Having Eovaldi in the pen may seem like a waste of his skills but everyone needs to remember what he did during the postseason in 2018. His efforts out of the pen are a major reason why the Red Sox were able to raise another banner at Fenway Park. So having him enter in late-inning situations where Boston has failed time and time again in 2019 could be a blessing for this team.
Getting Nathan Eovaldi back in the lineup is going to be a significant boost to the Red Sox and their hopes of making it back to the postseason. He may be utilized primarily in the bullpen but there is always the possibility that he can make a start when called upon. His versatility and competitiveness are going to be a big weapon for Alex Cora going down the stretch.