The Rockies beat the living tar out of the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. They were up 19-1 by the end of the fifth inning, in fact, and everyone should’ve probably just agreed to go home early and catch up on the shows they have on their DVRs and stuff. But they played on, because that’s what ballplayers do.
As is so often the case in blowouts, eventually a position player was deployed to pitch. In this case, though, it wasn’t just one position player and it wasn’t just for a final inning. The Dbacks used two position players — Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila — and they pitched for more than half the dang game.
Really: the Snakes’ real pitchers gave up 16 runs in four and a third innings while Descalso and Avila gave up 3 runs in four and two-thirds innings. All of those runs were charged to Descalso, by the way, who allowed two homers. He still did better than real pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, however, who gave up four more runs in one inning less of work.
Avila, though, was pretty spiffy. He faced seven batters over two innings and retired six of them, allowing only one hit, in the form of a leadoff single to Ian Desmond just after coming into the game. He stranded Desmond, though, getting the next three batters to fly out and line out. He came back for the eighth inning and retired the side in order once again.
I suspect that, at that point in the game, the Rockies hitters were not exactly going up with an intention to do serious damage, but I don’t think big leaguers quit either, so we should give some credit to Avila for his surprisingly outstanding performance. Even if it came at the end of a shockingly terrible night for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.