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.