BOSTON -- Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi underwent arthroscopic surgery to address loose bodies in his right elbow on Tuesday. He's expected to return to action within six weeks, the team said.
The surgery was the same procedure Eovaldi had in March 2018, when he was a member of the Rays.
In that circumstance, Eovaldi pitched for Tampa Bay two months after having the procedure, but he was also returning from Tommy John surgery.
This time, the recovery should be a little swifter, and Eovaldi could slot back into Boston’s rotation by late May or early June, depending on the length of a likely Minor League rehab assignment.
Eovaldi has made four starts this season, going 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA. His most recent outing was his best, as he held the Yankees to three hits and zero earned runs over six innings on Wednesday, but the next day, the felt 29-year-old righty felt discomfort in his right elbow and received a familiar diagnosis.
Eovaldi was placed on the 10-day injured list prior to Saturday’s game against the Rays.
Eovaldi had a visit in New York on Monday with Dr. Christopher Ahmad. Shortly after that, the decision was made to schedule surgery.
“I went right into the surgery [in 2018], and it worked out really well for me,” Eovaldi told reporters on Saturday. “It’s one of those things where we’re at in the year, too. It’s so early in the season, we have a lot of time left, we don’t want anything to get worse toward the end of the season. I felt like the procedure went really smoothly last year and the recovery was fast. It’s two weeks until you have your range of motion back.”
Spot starter Hector Velazquez will fill Eovaldi’s spot in the rotation for at least the next couple of turns, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Monday.
In fact, Velazquez will start Game 2 of Tuesday night’s day-night doubleheader against the Tigers.
After starring for the Red Sox throughout last year’s postseason, Eovaldi signed a four-year, $68 million contract to remain with Boston.