There are reports that Minnesota is not willing to pay the price on their waiver claim of Rich Harden, but Phil Rogers of the Tribune says that “Twins general manager Bill Smith is going to wake up Monday, consider how catchable the Detroit Tigers remain and pay the price.”
I dunno. The Twins are 4.5 games out. Harden will get, what, 4-5 more starts in the last month? Maybe 6? I know he can impact more than just the games in which he pitches by helping the bullpen and all of that, but there’s not a ton I’ve seen from this Twins team that suggests to me that they have a strong, final-month run in them, with Harden or without him. And it’s not as if they’ll be players for the soon-to-be free agent either.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.