Eovaldi surgery went 'as good as it could have'
BOSTON -- Four days after he underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow, Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi was in good spirits in the clubhouse and optimistic about his recovery.
“Everything looked good. I think we had two pieces we had to remove. One was a four-millimeter piece of bone,” Eovaldi said. “The other was a piece of cartilage, three millimeters. Everything went as good as it could have gone. They didn’t have to do any shaving down of the bone or anything like that.”
The Red Sox are hopeful Eovaldi can return within six weeks, which would have him back in the rotation by June. Right-hander Hector Velazquez is currently taking his spot.
“It’s hard to know the process, the progress. We’ve got to wait for the stitches to come out,” Eovaldi said. “I think they said it’s seven to 10 days. I’ve been feeling really good. I haven’t really had any issues. I’ve been getting my range of motion back really well. I’ve kind of been taking it day by day.”
After going through the same procedure last March and getting back in the rotation for the Rays at the two-month mark, Eovaldi has reason to believe he can return more quickly for the Red Sox.
“Yeah, we were definitely a little more cautious last summer, especially after it being after the Tommy John,” Eovaldi said. “I think now that we know where I was able to get at the end of last year, where we are now, hopefully we won’t have to be as cautious but still cautious [enough].”
Just because he’s had this surgery two years in a row, Eovaldi doesn’t believe it is going to become an annual thing.
“They didn’t give me anything, any indications about that,” Eovaldi said. “They said it shouldn’t happen again. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but it is what it is. It happens.”
Though Eovaldi could have tried a non-surgical method of recovery, he felt going back on the operating table was a no-brainer.
“I think it was, for me, just how hard I throw,” Eovaldi said. “If I can’t get that full extension, I’m going to have to compensate with something else. I don’t want to risk my elbow or anything else in doing so.”
Smith summoned for Friday start
A rainout on Monday night put Boston’s starting rotation out of sequence and left manager Alex Cora without anyone available on regular rest for Friday night’s game against the Rays.
That’s why the club called up righty Josh Smith from Triple-A Pawtucket to make the start. But the move turned out not to be necessary, as Friday’s game was rained out and will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, June 8 at 6:10 p.m. ET.
To make room for Smith on the roster, the Red Sox optioned righty Travis Lakins, who made his Major League debut on Tuesday against the Tigers and allowed one run over 2 2/3 innings.
It remains to be seen if Smith will remain on the roster on Saturday, or if the Red Sox will call up a reliever to take his place.
Super-utility player Brock Holt started a Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday as he comes back from a scratched cornea in his right eye. The rehab stint will also give Holt a chance to re-capture his batting stroke. Holt was 1-for-16 before going on the injured list the first week of April.
“He needs at-bats,” said Cora. “He hasn’t been right the whole season. It will be good for him to get a few at-bats and get timing and obviously play different positions. For everything that we saw and the feedback we got, the swing is a lot better now than a month ago. That’s a good start, but he needs to play and get at-bats. Obviously we’ll make a decision whenever we feel and he feels he’s ready.”
And what about Dustin Pedroia, who is back on the IL with more left knee woes?
“He hit today. Obviously with the [rainy] conditions I’m not going to let him do what he was scheduled to do on the field,” Cora said. “Tomorrow hopefully he can go out there and take grounders and run outside and do all that. He’s feeling better so hopefully in the next few days we have an idea when we send him to play, and we’ll start to do that.”