Mat Latos cleared to join Reds’ rotation on Saturday

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Mat Latos tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball Monday for Triple-A Louisville, showing enough in that rehab start to convince Cincinnati’s decision-makers that he is finally ready for MLB action.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the right-handed Latos — who has been out all year because of knee, calf, and elbow issues — has officially been cleared to join the Reds’ starting rotation this Saturday night against the Brewers.

Latos posted a solid 3.16 ERA (121 ERA+) and 187 strikeouts in 210 2/3 innings last season. The 26-year-old is capable of providing a nice boost for the Reds, who open play on Tuesday night with a disappointing 29-33 record and -20 run differential.

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.