The Red Sox have selected right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to kick off Game 3 of the ALDS on Monday night, per a team announcement. While fellow righty Rick Porcello was originally slated to handle Game 3, he was utilized out of the bullpen during Game 1 and will receive an extra day of rest before taking the mound for a potential series clinch in Game 4. Additional comments from manager Alex Cora indicated that his selection for Game 4 might still be subject to some revision, however, especially if the team ends up needing Porcello to pitch out of the bullpen and lock down another win during Game 3.
Eovaldi, 28, was acquired by the Red Sox in a swap for Rays’ minor league pitcher Jalen Beeks just before the July deadline. Through 11 starts in Boston, he worked up to a 3-3 record with a 3.33 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 in 54 innings. This figures to be the first postseason start of his seven-year career to date, and one that might see him extend the current 16-inning scoreless streak he has going against the Yankees this year.
The Yankees, meanwhile, will trot out right-hander Luis Severino when the series returns to New York on Monday night. The 24-year-old righty led the team to a 7-2 Wild Card victory on Wednesday after posting four innings of two-hit, seven-strikeout ball against the Athletics and will look for his second career win in the playoffs when Game 3 kicks off at 7:40 PM EDT on Monday.
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.