Tony Gwynn Jr.’s days with the Dodgers are over. He was designated for assignment today.
Gwynn has been having a nightmare season, hitting 232/.276/.293 in 277 at-bats. He plays good defense, however, and isn’t as bad as this season’s production suggests, so he should probably latch on as a fourth or fifth outfield someplace. He’s still under contract through 2013, though, so he may have to be released before someone comes calling.
Taking Gwynn’s place will be Jerry Sands, who has proven for the second straight year that he has nothing left to prove at Triple-A. Sands is hitting .286/.367/.518 at Albuquerque and now would seem to have his best shot of establishing himself with the Dodgers.
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.