TORONTO — The Boston Red Sox spent an off-day trying to recover from a transatlantic flight and two losses to the New York Yankees.
The bullpen again became a concern as the Yankees scored 22 runs in 12 2/3 innings of work by Red Sox relievers over the weekend.
And now the team has decided to make a move to shore up that bullpen.
Multiple sources have told NESN’s Tom Caron that Nathan Eovaldi will serve as the closer for the Red Sox when he returns from the injured list. They also told Caron that he will serve as a traditional closer, and not as part of a bullpen-by-committee.
Last postseason Eovaldi made four appearances out of the bullpen, tossing 9 1/3 innings and giving up just one run — the Max Muncy home run in the 18th inning of Game 3 of the World Series after Eovaldi set a series record throwing 97 pitches in relief.
In addition to helping the bullpen, the Red Sox believe bringing Eovaldi back as a reliever will get him back on the roster sooner, meaning they won’t have to wait for him to get stretched out in multiple starts over a long rehab stint.
All of this comes at a time when Red Sox relievers are struggling. The bullpen ERA is 4.37, right in the middle of the American League, but over the past two weeks it’s at 6.18 — the second highest in the league with eight blown saves in June, the most of any AL team.
Now the hope is Eovaldi will help solidify that when he returns. In the meantime, the Sox’s international road trip will continue Tuesday night here at Rogers Centre, as they open up the series against the Toronto Blue Jays in a game you’ll see on NESN.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images