Carlos Quentin off the DL, batting cleanup in Padres debut

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Knee surgery caused Carlos Quentin to miss the first 49 games after the Padres acquired him from the White Sox in December, but now he’s off the disabled list and jumping right into the cleanup spot for his San Diego debut today.

Quentin put up big power numbers for the White Sox, averaging 34 homers per 150 games, but also missed an average of 43 games per season with injuries and benefited from a hitter-friendly home ballpark.

Already the Padres have seen the oft-injured aspect of Quentin’s game and it’ll be interesting to see how his power translates moving to the majors’ most extreme pitcher-friendly ballpark. So far this season Padres hitters have combined for an MLB-low 18 homers in 1,812 plate appearances, producing a measly .326 slugging percentage.

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.