Red Sox Opening Day: Predicting Boston’s 2021 starting rotation
Red Sox RHP: Nathan Eovaldi
Once again, Nathan Eovaldi will be stepping up in the rotation to hold down the fort for Eddie Rodriguez. The soon-to-be 10-year veteran is in a similar spot as he was in 2020 as he’ll be bumped up from the second spot in the rotation to the first. Once Rodriguez is cleared to return though I see him settling back in as the second arm in the arsenal for Alex Cora.
Eovaldi has made his career on his triple-digit fastball and it’ll once again be his calling card for 2020. He’ll be on the mound for the Red Sox for Opening Day when the Orioles come to Fenway Park. Evo is entering the third year of his current contract that will see him become a free agent after the 2022 season. This will be one of the biggest years for him as he missed plenty of 2019 due to injury but was one of the only reliable starters for Ron Roenicke’s side last season.
His spring has been a bit rough, to the tune of a 1-0 record through 15.0 innings pitched. I know that doesn’t sound too bad but his 6.60 ERA would like to have a word with you. Add in his 1.600 WHIP and 12.6 H/9 and this wasn’t the best time Eovaldi has spent in Fort Myers. However, he did finish the spring with a solid 7.8 K/9 and 13/3 K/BB ratio.
He’s the definition of a veteran and a workhorse that will do whatever Cora asks of him. If the game is out of reach early he’ll gladly eat up the innings to save the bullpen. Hell, he’ll even work out of that bullpen if called upon. Having to step up and take the mantle of the first man up is something that we know he can handle and has proven to be reliable at. While I really think we’ll see him excel pitching behind Rodriguez, it’ll be fun to see him take the mound Thursday afternoon.