It hasn’t been an easy journey for Nathan Eovaldi having undergone two Tommy John surgeries, but he never let that hinder his comeback.
The Boston Red Sox starting pitcher, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in July, only was a teenager when he needed his first surgery. His pitch velocity didn’t dwindle significantly, but because he already had gone under the knife, he wasn’t selected until the 11th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After a season in L.A., he was traded to the Miami Marlins and pitched for three seasons before being dealt to the New York Yankees. But Eovaldi unfortunately needed a second Tommy John surgery, prompting the Yanks to release the right-hander.
He found a new home with the Rays, but didn’t pitch for the club in 2017. He made his debut in May, catching the attention of Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, and two months later he landed in Boston.
His first two starts for the Red Sox were miraculous, combining for 15 shutout innings, giving up seven hits and nine strikeouts with just one walk. You’d never guess he underwent two major elbow surgeries, considering he hit 100 mph on the radar gun against New York.
“All the hard work had paid off,” Eovaldi said, per The Eagle-Tribune’s Chris Mason. “The velocity had come back and my arm was feeling good. It’s not like I was forcing it either so it’s coming out nice and easy again.”
The 28-year-old never was one for self-doubt — despite getting bounced around from ballclub to ballclub — he knew a second comeback was possible.
“No, I don’t like to doubt myself,” he told Mason. “I knew I came back from my first one. So if I’d done it once, I believed I could do it twice.”
And he certainly did do it twice. The righty is 2-0 with Boston, 5-4 on the season with a 3.74 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 13 starts.
Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images
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