Bryce’s boffo belt-busting bellyflop

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Sorry. Was just practicing in case I ever get a job writing for a gossip site. I mean a gossip site that isn’t specifically about baseball like HBT. Anyway:

Harper made a diving attempt at an Andres Torres liner and tore his belt in two. The rookie casually walked over to the Washington bullpen and snagged another waistband from a generous teammate.

Video here.

The MLB.com copy goes on to say that wouldn’t have happened if he was wearing his Olympic unitard.  I call b.s. on that. It wouldn’t have happened if Major League Baseball had the good sense to mandate elastic waistband doubleknits like the uber-athletes of yore wore.

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.