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Red Sox may make Nathan Eovaldi their closer

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Tom Caron of NESN reports that the Red Sox plan to use Nathan Eovaldi as their closer when he returns from the injured list.

Eovaldi underwent surgery on his right elbow to remove loose bodies back in April. He was originally expected back in mid-June but suffered a setback earlier this month, experiencing biceps soreness. His current timeline is unclear, but he is expected back this season. Meanwhile, the Red Sox bullpen is terrible, so you can see how this goes together.

Eovaldi appeared out of the bullpen for the Red Sox four times last postseason and those appearances played a big part in them signing him to a four-year, $68 million contract in December. Their plan — and his preference — was for him to start games, but given his long injury history, the Red Sox’ current needs, and the fact that he has pretty explosive stuff that would probably play very well in a relief role, it makes a lot of sense for the Sox to think about using him that way. At the very least it’s not some off-the-wall notion, as he was pursued as a potential closer by the Phillies last winter before he nixed the idea to sign with Boston.

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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