Yankees GM Brian Cashman ‘not surprised’ Melky, Colon tested positive

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Speaking Tuesday on ESPN New York, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he was “not surprised” about the positive PED tests for Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon.

ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand has the quotes:

“In Melky’s case, I think I said in the New York Times article, recently in June, they asked me about him, that when we traded him we had him as (a) low-end, every-day regular or an excellent fourth outfielder,” Cashman said. “And that shows where we thought his ceiling was. As you know, he was starting for us in the World Series, but we had him as a low-end, every-day guy, not a National League MVP candidate. So I wasn’t surprised.”

Because I’m usually really good at evaluating talent, you know.

“You see some spike in performance, you know,” Cashman said. “You hope it is not the case. You scratch your head and you wonder at the same time. But then you sit there and get a comfort level. Tests are taking place, but then over time when those tests fail, like they did. I think whenever you see someone, in Bartolo’s case, as well as he has done last year and then, as well, coming back this year, at his age, after coming back from this surgery, makes you scratch your head.”

Considering how many Yankees have experienced performance spikes and seemingly defied usual aging patterns, it’s no wonder Cashman spends so much time scratching his head.

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.