The Red Sox activated right-hander Nathan Eovaldi from the 60-day injured list, per an official announcement on Saturday. It’s been a long road back to the mound for Eovaldi, who has been sidelined since mid-April after undergoing elbow surgery and rehabbing a bout of biceps soreness.
Prior to the setback, the 29-year-old righty pitched just 21 innings for the club in 2019. He carried a 6.00 ERA, 4.7 BB/9, and 6.9 SO/9 through his first four starts of the year, hardly indicative of the sub-4.00 ERA and 2.0+ fWAR he produced with the Rays and Red Sox in 2018.
Whether or not he can return to those totals remains to be seen, but it doesn’t look like the club intends to place any significant expectations on the veteran starter so soon after his recovery. According to comments made by manager Alex Cora, Eovaldi won’t slot into a starting or closing role with the team, as they’re currently set at both ends with a rotation of Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodríguez, and Andrew Cashner, and a closer in the form of Brandon Workman. Instead, he’ll likely pivot to a relief role for the time being, for use in “high-leverage situations.”
In a corresponding move, right-hander Ryan Weber was bumped off the 25-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Weber, 28, had a tough time during his most recent stint with the team, closing out two losses and allowing four runs, a walk, and three strikeouts over just 4 2/3 innings of relief.