Kevin Youkilis is doing just fine with the change of scenery.
Last night he singled home Alejandro De Aza in the bottom of the 10th to break a 4-4 and give the White Sox a walkoff win. He finished his night 2-for-4 with a walk.
So far since the trade he’s 11 for 36 (.306) with a homer and nine RBI since being traded by Boston. No, that’s not on his previous All-Star pace quite yet, but being given regular, daily playing time seems to agree with Youk thus far. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he continues to improve all season long.
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.