Wait, Jerry Meals may have been right?

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I love Rob Neyer. I’ve written thousands of words about my man-crush on him over the years. And there’s no one in this business whose intellect and judgment I trust more. Really, if the Martians flew here to annihilate civilization but offered us one chance to save ourselves, and that chance involved the analysis of a baseball issue, Rob would totally be my huckleberry.

But Rob, I don’t think I’m with you on this one.  Here’s his take on the Jerry Meals play:

Call me a sensationalist or an iconoclast if you like, but I just gotta say something this morning …

Jerry Meals might have been right.

I’m sorry, but I still have not seen a conclusive replay. I’ve read a lot of Tweets from people claiming the replays or screen-captures are conclusive, but I’m looking at the same things and I’m just not seeing it. I’m not seeing a for sure in any of them.

Can’t say I agree — it looks pretty plain to me that the tag was applied — but as Rob himself says sometimes, I link you decide.

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.