Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi
This may be the biggest change for Boston coming into the 2020 season. In years past it was pretty certain that either David Price or Chris Sale would be on the bump for Opening Day. But as I mentioned above, Price is in Hollywood with the Dodgers now and Sale is recuperating from Tommy John. That pretty much meant everyone in the rotation was getting a massive promotion for this season.
As it was, Eduardo Rodriguez was the heavy favorite for the slot until he tested positive for COVID-19, dashing his hopes of Opening Day. The next man in line was Nathan Eovaldi, and the fireballing righty is more than ready for the opportunity.
On the recent episode of NESN’s “TC and Jerry Podcast,” Nate talked about this being his first time ever pitching on Opening Day. An honor for any and every pitcher that gets the nod from the skipper.
Another fun tidbit that he shared with Tom Caron was that he had learned how to throw a slider during the hiatus but on accident. He and catching prospect Connor Wong were working out in Texas and Eovaldi wanted to work on his cutter. Well, while he was working on his grip and release he realized that he was throwing more of a slider. After plenty of practice, he now has the pitch locked in and is confident in it.
Eovaldi is the one I’m the most interested in seeing perform tonight. He’s coming off of a horrible 2019 that was riddled with injury and inconsistency. The righty is now fully healthy and looked unhittable in both spring training and summer camp. With only 10-12 starts to focus on in 2020, I feel like he can be a serious weapon for Ron Roenicke and the Red Sox. It all starts at Fenway Park tonight against the Orioles.