Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Red Sox News

Eovaldi returns from 60-day injured list

July 20, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Nathan Eovaldi made his long-awaited return to the 25-man roster ahead of Saturday’s game against the Orioles. To make room for Eovaldi on the 25-man roster, the club optioned right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber to Triple-A Pawtucket. Red Sox manager Alex Cora wouldn’t commit to the idea of Eovaldi

BALTIMORE -- Nathan Eovaldi made his long-awaited return to the 25-man roster ahead of Saturday’s game against the Orioles.

To make room for Eovaldi on the 25-man roster, the club optioned right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora wouldn’t commit to the idea of Eovaldi slotting in as the closer -- he likes Brandon Workman’s production there as of late -- but at the very least he hopes the workhorse can bring back-end relief to a bullpen that has already used 19 arms this season.

“That’s the most important thing, that you don’t have to go to the same guys when you have a lead,” Cora said. “You have one more option.”

Eovaldi is on the trip to Baltimore after completing a one-game rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket Thursday, where he struck out the side and conceded a walk. The major question for him as he fights back from an April surgery that repaired loose bodies in his right elbow is durability, especially when it comes to back-to-back days. Those questions will hopefully be answered as Eovaldi gains comfort in the bullpen as opposed to his usual starting role, Cora said.

“I do think that we have to protect him, but at the same time he’s going to make us better,” said Cora, who did not rule out Eovaldi potentially working back up to starting. “We feel comfortable where he’s at stuff-wise … We’ll use him in high-leverage situations. I don’t know if we are going to work him into it … we know what he can do in terms of competing.”

Eovaldi, Workman, Heath Hembree and Matt Barnes will soon make up half of Boston’s relievers and be the quartet employed in most high-leverage situations. With those four solidified, Cora hopes stability can quickly come for a middle-of-the-pack bullpen and its 4.51 ERA entering Friday.

“Instead of going to the same guys over and over again, we can give guys the day off knowing the guy we use that day, the stuff is the same or better,” Cora said. “We have guys with stuff. That’s something we try to tell them. … It’s just a matter of putting everything together and getting the job done.”

Cashner talks return to Baltimore

Andrew Cashner lucked out -- at least when it comes to moving logistics.

He’s already back in Baltimore after being traded from the Orioles to the Red Sox on Saturday. Not only is he back to start against his old team on Sunday, but he has the chance to collect some of his belongings from his old abode before Boston heads to Tampa Bay.

“Still working on packing. I got a bunch of boxes today,” Cashner said, “so will be packing up most of tonight probably.”

Cashner said it was weird entering Camden Yards from the other side, and it’ll be even weirder facing off against his old teammates in the series finale. But now it’s all business, and he’ll hope to rebound from a rough outing his first time in a Red Sox uniform Tuesday.

“It’s unique to get to come back so early and see a lot of the faces,” he said. “It’s not so much weird when you come back as it’s nice to see so many familiar faces.”

Moreland’s rehab continues

Mitch Moreland (right quad strain) will make a rehab appearance at first base with Pawtucket Friday and he may return to the Red Sox, at the earliest, during the coming series in Tampa Bay.

“We’ll see how he feels, how he moves, the at-bats,” Cora said. “We’ll have more after the game.”

Heat impacting lineups

With excessive heat warnings in effect across Baltimore all weekend -- and plenty of the country, for that matter -- Cora said he needs to be judicious with player health this series.

One such fallout of that need for caution is slotting Mookie Betts into the designated hitter role Friday for just the fourth time this season. With J.D. Martinez playing in right and Andrew Benintendi getting a night off, Sam Travis earns his ninth start of the year and will play in left.

“We have to make sure we feel good,” Cora said. “We are trying to keep [Mookie] off his feet and we’ll see how we work out over the weekend. It’s going to be tough, but I know they don’t mind. When it’s like this they like it. Offensively, at least.”