As Nathan Eovaldi continues to recover from his surgery in early May, the Red Sox fall further behind the division leader Yankees. The bullpen leads the AL in blown saves (17). And there seems to be no viable solution to fix it. Some fans have thought of possibly adding Nathan Eovaldi to this struggling group of relievers. But in reality, outside of the postseason, this just doesn’t work.
A breakdown of Nathan Eovaldi
Eovaldi has been a starter since he first appeared with the Dodgers in 2011. His pitch arsenal predominantly includes a four-seam fastball, cutter, curveball, and split-finger. His average velocity on his four-seamer is around 97 MPH. He also has the ability to frequently reach up to 101 MPH throughout his starts. His velocity may be affected as he returns from his surgery. But Eovaldi’s cutter is a solid secondary pitch that he could use more frequently if his fastball velocity takes a significant hit.
A look back on Eovaldi’s postseason heroics
Looking back to the 2018 postseason, many fans remember Eovaldi’s heroics coming from the bullpen. But many forget Eovaldi actually had two important starts earlier in the postseason. While the Red Sox were scoring 16 runs in Game 3 of the ALDS, Eovaldi was rock solid on the other side of the frame. Throughout 6 IP, Eovaldi gave up 5 hits, 1 ER and struck out 5. His fastball hovered around 100 MPH, and he was able to secure his first postseason win of 2018. Eovaldi also succeeded during his start against Houston in Game 3 of the ALCS. He went 6 innings allowing only 6 hits and 2 runs in an 8-2 Red Sox win. These were both crucial performances, as they helped the Red Sox take command of two important series.
Why Eovaldi’s talents shouldn’t be limited to relief appearances
All in all, it would be a shame to limit outings for Eovaldi to appearances out of the bullpen. His talents prove he deserves a spot in the starting rotation once he returns from his prolonged IL stint. To add on, the Red Sox would have to find a reliable starter to complete the rotation if Eovaldi moves to the ‘pen. Brian Johnson and Hector Velasquez have been the spot starters during Eovaldi’s absence. But having them fill the rotation for the remainder of the season is just absurd. While many may think adding Eovaldi to the bullpen would be a good option, outside of the postseason, it’s just impractical.