Jack McKeon wasted no time making his presence felt as Edwin Rodriguez’s replacement, as the 80-year-old’s first lineup since returning as Marlins manager doesn’t include Hanley Ramirez.
Ramirez has dealt with back problems for much of the season, but told reporters that he’s healthy and confused by not starting tonight.
McKeon explained to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that he benched Ramirez because he “didn’t like the way he was running yesterday” and Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Ramirez also showed up late to the ballpark.
Whatever the case, not exactly a great start to the McKeon-Ramirez relationship, which is interesting given that Ramirez’s various issues with Fredi Gonzalez led to his firing in mid-2010 following back-to-back winning seasons. This is what the Marlins signed up for and the media members covering the team seem absolutely giddy about the return of McKeon’s brash style, but Ramirez probably isn’t as thrilled right about now.
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.