Arizona demoted top prospect Trevor Bauer to Triple-A last week after he struggled to consistently throw strikes in his first taste of the majors and now the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft will take some time off in the minors.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Bauer will take at least 10 days off before starting at Triple-A and the Diamondbacks are leaving the door open for even more downtime.
Farm director Mike Bell stressed to Piecoro that it’s a normal thing the organization does with pitchers in their first full pro seasons, but also noted that Bauer specifically “could use a little break.”
Bauer blamed a season-long groin injury on some of his big-league struggles and between the majors and minors he’s already thrown 114 innings, so being cautious with the 21-year-old’s workload makes sense.
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.