Update (11:45 PM EST): Eovaldi was used in relief Tuesday night, so he’s been bumped out of Wednesday’s start. Brian Johnson will start instead. Eovaldi’s status seems to be in a state of flux right now.
Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi returned from the injured list last month, ticketed for the bullpen. The thought was, given the club’s late-inning woes, Eovaldi might be used as a closer. Despite nine relief appearances since then, he hasn’t appeared in any save situations while allowing eight runs on 16 hits and four walks with 15 strikeouts across 10 2/3 innings.
Eovaldi, now, will start — perhaps “open” is more accurate — on Wednesday against the Indians, per MLB.com’s Ian Browne. Eovaldi will be limited to around 55 pitches, but the start paves the way for him to rebuild his durability for a return to the starting rotation.
Eovaldi underwent surgery in late April to remove loose bodies from his right elbow. He’s in the first year of a four-year, $68 million contract with the Red Sox.
The Red Sox have an opening in the rotation after moving the recently-acquired Andrew Cashner to the bullpen.
Pirates starter Chris Archer exited Tuesday night’s start against the Pirates while warming up ahead of the second inning. He was examined by the Pirates’ training staff before walking off the field. The reason is currently unknown but an update should be forthcoming.
Archer allowed a pair of singles before getting consecutive strikeouts to see his way out of the first inning. The 30-year-old right-hander has had a forgettable year in Pittsburgh, entering Tuesday’s action 3-9 with a 5.23 ERA and a 141/55 K/BB ratio in 118 2/3 innings.
The Pirates, overall, are in rough shape, losing 22 of their last 27 games dating back to July 21. They are 51-73, 15.5 games out of first place in the NL Central cellar. It may behoove them to play it safe with Archer since they don’t have anything to play for over the remainder of the regular season. The club holds options for his 2020 and ’21 seasons at $9 million and $11 million, respectively.