Report: Yankees sign right-hander Brian Gordon for Thursday start

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Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that right-hander Brian Gordon has signed with the Yankees after opting out of his contract with the Phillies.

But that’s not all. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer passes along word from Brookover that Gordon is expected to start Thursday against the Rangers.

Brian Gordon? Who’s Brian Gordon? Glad you asked.

Gordon, a converted outfielder, made three relief appearances with the Rangers back in 2008, but has otherwise spent 14-plus years in the minor leagues. After putting up respectable numbers over the past two seasons as a reliever, the 32-year-old right-hander had a 1.14 ERA and 56/7 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts and three relief appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. He posted a stunning 31/1 K/BB ratio over 19 2/3 innings with the club this month.

While it sounds like the Yankees have settled on Gordon for Thursday, they have also considered David Phelps or Hector Noesi for the assignment.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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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.