Reds want Yonder Alonso to lose some weight

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They aren’t sure where Yonder Alonso will play defensively, using the natural first baseman in left field and at third base because of Joey Votto’s presence, but the Reds are certain the 24-year-old former first-round pick needs to lose some weight wherever he winds up.

Alonso, who’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 241 pounds, told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he’s already hired a personal chief with an eye on changing his offseason routine:

It’s going to be an offseason where I’m going to do a lot of things differently. I’m going to get faster. My offseason workout regiment is going to be very different. A lot more running. It’s going to be a left fielder-type attitude coming into the offseason. I’m very excited. We’ll go from there.

Dusty Baker told Fay that the Reds haven’t decided on a specific number of pounds they want Alonso to lose, but the idea is clearly to find out if he’s capable of being the long-term answer in left field.

Prior to being called up most people who’d seen Alonso regularly in the minors had serious doubts about his ability to handle any position but first base and he’s made multiple miscues in left field while posting some hideous numbers in what’s admittedly a small sample size. However, if the goal is for Alonso to simply go from “horrendous” to merely “bad” defensively the combination of dropping 15-20 pounds and gaining more experience in the outfield could do the trick.

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.