It seems as though the Nathan Eovaldi bullpen experiement is over.
The Boston Red Sox moved the hard-throwing right-hander into a reliever’s role when he returned from a lengthy stay on the injured list after the Sox picked up Andrew Cashner to fill out the starting rotation. But Cashner since has been demoted out of the rotation following a slew of bad starts, signaling Alex Cora to announce Eovaldi as the likely starter for Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians.
Cora also noted there’s a “pretty good chance” that Eovaldi finishes the season as a starter.
“I’ve liked it. I’ve enjoyed my time down there,” Eovaldi told reporters, via Mass Live’s Chris Cotillo, of his stint in the pen. “I feel like it has been good. I had the one situation where I blew the (save) but other than that I feel like it has been good.
“I feel like I’ve started for so long that I kind of know that role and prepare for those situations,” he added. “I felt like I was finally getting the hang of the bullpen, but with where we are in the season right now, we need to win every game possible.”
Eovaldi returned from the IL July 22, and carried a 6.75 ERA over nine relief appearances, including one blown save.
The Red Sox have not been able to find any stability from the fifth slot in the rotation, something Eovaldi pins on his April injury, when he underwent surgery to remove loose bodies in his throwing elbow.
“It’s hard to say where we’d be right now if I hadn’t gotten hurt,” Eovaldi said. “We were filling in that role and we had guys stepping up making those starts for me. Then our bullpen was trying to cover all those innings on all those starts I missed. I feel like coming back and trying to contribute in any way I can.”
Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images