Nearing rehab assignment, Eovaldi throws BP

July 15th, 2019

BOSTON -- Red Sox righty is at last closing in on a Minor League rehab assignment, which will start on Wednesday or Thursday, and most likely with Triple-A Pawtucket.

Eovaldi got ready for that by facing teammates and in a batting practice session at Fenway on Monday.

Eovaldi's return, as manager Alex Cora announced a couple of weeks ago, will come in the bullpen and not in his usual role as a starting pitcher.

"I just told [Cora], 'Whatever I need to do to help the team,'" Eovaldi said. "I'm not going to be that guy who comes back and says I can only start. I know where we're at in the season, and if I'm going to come back as a starter, it's going to be another month. I want to come back and contribute now and do what I can to help. Starting is not off the board or anything yet, but if I can help out in the 'pen, I want to do so."

Boston's much-maligned bullpen could certainly use a stabilizing force, particularly in the ninth inning. Eovaldi has been a starting pitcher his entire career, but he was dominant when used as a reliever in last year's postseason.

"Even when I was coming out of the 'pen last year, as soon as you hear your name called, you have to get going fast," said Eovaldi. "Just that run in from the 'pen to the mound, it's different situations and knowing you are going out there for one or two innings as opposed to trying to pace yourself the entire time, you get that different adrenaline I feel like."

Eovaldi made four starts for Boston from March 29 through April 17, notching a 6.00 ERA while not earning a decision. He then had to undergo surgery to repair loose bodies in his right elbow. The plan was that he would be back by early June, but a case of biceps tendinitis slowed him down considerably.

"It's just frustrating, because when I first got hurt, it was supposed to be a month and then it turned into two, three months now," Eovaldi said. "I've been itching to get back out there. I'm excited to go out there and help the team."

Cashner ready for debut

Righty met the Boston media on Monday, two days after he was acquired from the Orioles to be the Sox's No. 5 starter. Cashner will make his Red Sox debut Tuesday night against Toronto.

"It's really cool, it's special, these are the World Series champs here," Cashner said. "It's a chance to come in here to help get these guys to where they want to go. The thing about the trade that was weird was that it was in between a doubleheader, so it was definitely different."

Cashner arrived in Boston on Sunday and took in the 12-inning loss to the Dodgers that took five hours and 40 minutes.

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"There's a lot of energy in the dugout, there's a lot of good hitters in here, a lot of good pitching," Cashner said. "I'll just try to pick these guys' brains, see if I can't pick something up and help these guys out."

Of the Red Sox, Cashner said, "I think this is a dangerous [team]. I just don't think they've played to their potential yet. The thing I'm looking forward to the most is playing the Yankees. I'm definitely looking forward to the race. It's something I've never been in really."

Red Sox host National PLAY Campaign

The Red Sox held an event at Fenway Park for the National PLAY Campaign on Monday, which promotes the importance of children living a healthy lifestyle and disability inclusion.

Brad Pearson, Boston's head trainer, took part in the event, which also included Donald Hooton Jr., the president of the Taylor Hooton Foundation.

In 2014, the PLAY Campaign became the first program in professional sports to include children with disabilities.

At Monday's event, children from the National Down Syndrome Society and the Boys & Girls Club of Boston took part in the fully inclusive PLAY Campaign event with the support of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

The PLAY campaign is made possible by the generous support and participation of the Ruderman Family Foundation, Major League Baseball Charities, the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation.

Worth noting

• Lefty , who was placed on the injured list on June 29 with a non-baseball medical issue, will start a Minor League rehab assignment for Pawtucket on Thursday.

• After experiencing tightness in his right quad over the weekend, Moreland was expected to resume action for Pawtucket on Monday. Instead, he stayed at Fenway and faced Eovaldi. The hope is that Moreland can get back to Triple-A in the next couple of days and hopefully be back with the Red Sox within the next week or so.