Nathan Eovaldi has been a changed pitcher over the past couple of months, but the Yankees will have to make due without him for a while.
The Yankees announced tonight that Eovaldi has been shut down for two weeks due to right elbow inflammation. WFAN’s Sweeny Murti writes that the hope is he will be back in time for a possible playoff run, as there’s still about four weeks remaining in the regular season. However, that’s assuming that he feels good after the extended rest and has enough time to get tuned up.
The Yankees were expected to go with a six-man rotation with CC Sabathia returning from the disabled list this week. It’s unclear if they’ll bring another starter into the mix or go back to a standard five-man alignment.
Eovaldi gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Rays on Saturday, but he has been much improved dating back to around mid-June. Thanks to increased use of his splitter, the 25-year-old has a 3.43 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 84 innings over his last 14 starts. He has a 4.20 ERA overall this season.
The Pirates are set to welcome A.J. Burnett back from the disabled list. And they’ll do it just in time to give ace Gerrit Cole some rest in preparation for a postseason run.
According to Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Burnett will be activated to start Thursday against the Brewers. The veteran right-hander has been out since July 30 with a flexor strain in his throwing elbow. While some speculated that the injury could end his career, he has made progress since receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection. Burnett, who has a 3.06 ERA in 21 starts this season, threw a simulated game on Friday and made it through a bullpen session Sunday with no issues.
Cole lowered his ERA to 2.54 with a great start against the first-place Cardinals on Sunday, but he has already blown past his career-high with 180 2/3 innings. He threw 160 1/3 innings between the majors and the minors last season. His next start is expected to be in a doubleheader against the Cubs next Tuesday, so he’ll go eight days between starts.
The Nationals lost 8-5 to the Mets this afternoon in the first game of a critical three-game series at Nationals Park. It was noted on social media that a number of fans headed for the exits in the late innings. It was noticed by Nationals players. How do we know this? Well, National League MVP frontrunner Bryce Harper called them out on it after the game.
Yikes. It was a bit surprising to see how empty the ballpark was in the ninth inning, as the game was still very much within reach, but this sort of talk is a losing battle for a player and one he should probably stay away from. If Harper and company are disappointed in the fans, imagine how disappointed the fans are in a team that has largely underachieved this season.
Harper went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts this afternoon. The Nationals are now five games back of the Mets in the National League East with 25 games to play.