We’ve heard people piling on Marlon Byrd for his positive PED test as if he owed them something and, frankly, it’s pretty unseemly. Contrast this with an excellent column from Doug Glanville today which outlines true disappointment.
In it Glanville explains how veterans mentor young players and how young players grow up and do the same to the next group of kids. Glanville was Byrd’s mentor when the latter came and eventually took over his job with the Phillies, and he describes how that all works and the sort of relationship that is formed if everyone has their head on straight.
Byrd, by almost all accounts, had his head on straight his whole career, which is why Glanville is saddened to hear the news about the PED test. It’s not a judgmental thing like you get from the sanctimonious jerks in the media. It’s the sort of valid and honest disappointment one can only have for someone about whom they care deeply as Glanville clearly does for Byrd. And based on the tone, it’s a disappointment, one suspects, that will one day go away because good people eventually make amends when necessary.
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.