Nathan Eovaldi has been a popular man over the last 24 hours.
The Boston Red Sox will be moving the right-hander to the bullpen once he returns from the injured list. It’s no secret Boston’s bullpen has struggled — especially against the New York Yankees in London — during the season, and Dave Dombrowski noted the move is due to “urgency.”
Eovaldi doesn’t have a save in his career, and has appeared in the ninth inning just three times. He, of course, tossed 97 pitches in Game 3 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, ultimately giving up the walk-off home run to Max Muncy.
But manager Alex Cora revealed on MLB Network on Sirius XM on Tuesday that moving the right-hander to the bullpen has been on his radar for “weeks.”
“We’ve been talking about Eovaldi to the pen for the last few weeks, for him to contribute as soon as possible it makes sense for everyone,” he said. “It’s been an ongoing dialog the last 15 days, he gave us his blessing. We are not closing the door on him starting later this season.
“We’re about to find out if he is built for high leverage situations, this is a new role for him,” the skipper added. “Eovaldi will embrace it. We will take care of him. … But he’ll help in the bullpen.”
Steven Wright is a potential candidate to pitch on the fifth day for Boston. But if Eovaldi can come back strong and use his time in the bullpen as an additional way to continue to build strength in his elbow, it’s possible fans may see him back on the mound as a starter this season.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images