Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson was pulled from Saturday’s game against the Braves after sustaining an apparent wrist injury. He came up to bat in the top of the fourth inning and took a swing against the Braves’ Julio Teheran when he suddenly clenched his right wrist and walked off the field. The full extent of the injury is still unclear, but it was serious enough to prevent the right-hander from returning to the mound in the bottom half of the frame.
Prior to the incident, Hellickson pitched three full innings of one-run, one-strikeout ball, marking his first start in the majors after coming off of the disabled list with a right wrist sprain earlier this week. He owns a 5-3 record in 19 starts with a 3.45 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 through 91 1/3 innings in 2018.
After walking back to the dugout, the righty was swiftly replaced in the lineup by pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson, while fellow right-hander Jefry Rodriguez assumed his spot on the mound as Atlanta came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth. With Juan Soto‘s RBI single in the first inning (the cherry on top of his record-setting three steals) and Adam Eaton‘s RBI walk in the fourth, the Nationals currently lead the Braves 2-1 in the sixth.
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.