UPDATE: According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, X-rays on Chamberlain’s elbow came back negative. The Yankees are calling it a right elbow contusion for now and he’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow.
11:28 PM ET: Joba Chamberlain was forced to exit Game 4 of the ALDS against the Orioles in the top of the 12th inning tonight after he was hit in the right elbow by a piece of a broken bat.
Matt Wieters broke his bat when he punched a leadoff single into shallow left field. The head of the bat flew in the direction of Chamberlain, who was caught off guard. He threw a few warm-up pitches in attempt to stay in the game, but the Yankees decided to play things safe and bring him out. David Phelps replaced him and is trying to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Of course, Chamberlain didn’t make his season debut this year until August 1 following Tommy John surgery and an ankle dislocation. This just hasn’t been his year.
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.