Red Sox No. 2: Nathan Eovaldi
Coming in at number two in the rotation will be right-handed fireballer Nathan Eovaldi. Nasty Nate has been both a pleasure and headache to watch while in Boston. The Red Sox acquired him just ahead fo the 2018 trade deadline and he instantly repaid them for their early faith.
In his second start with Boston, he’d be facing the Yankees at Fenway Park, officially seeing The Rivalry, from both sides. On that night he’d shut the Bronx Bombers down in spectacular fashion instantly earning the support of Red Sox Nation.
In the postseason that year, he’d not only be a reliable starter for Alex Cora but on his off days, he’d go to the bullpen and make himself available for relief, if needed. He’d fully earn his stripes by pitching his arm off in Game 3 of the World Series, though in a losing effort. His heart and determination was all that fans needed to see and never once blamed him for the loss.
The offseason would bring a procedure to remove some loose fragments from his elbow, the second of the kind he’d undergo. Add that to the pair of Tommy John’s that he’s undergone and Nasty Nate was on the shelf for most of 2019. He’d eventually return but to disappointment as it never felt like he could find himself on the mound.
Luckily, an offseason of healing and rest has seemingly brought him back to full strength. During spring training he made two starts over eight innings that ended with just a single hit and 12 strikeouts. His stuff looked electric and if the Red Sox want some success in 2020, they’ll need their No. 2 to come through big.