BOSTON (CBS) — Remember Nathan Eovaldi? Of course you do, he was a hero during Boston’s World Series run last season. But we haven’t seen much of the righty fireballer in 2019, due to loose bodies in his throwing elbow.
That may change soon enough, though there is still some waiting in order. Eovaldi, who hasn’t pitched for Boston in over a month after having those loose bodies removed, tossed a promising bullpen session Tuesday in Toronto. He threw 35 pitches, mixing in his cutter and splitter for the first time since last month’s procedure.
Boston manager Alex Cora was encouraged by Eovaldi’s outing, but extinguished any hope that the righty would return within the next week.
“This is a guy that, as everybody knows, we’ve got to make sure that we slow him down,” Cora said. “If it was up to him, the progress would be very fast. His stuff was really good. He was in a good mood in the training room after that.
“He’s full blast. That’s the good thing about it, but at the same time we have to be careful,” added Cora. “We know where he’s coming from and we need this guy to be healthy.”
Eovaldi will need at least one more bullpen session, and the team will determine when that happens based on how he reacts to Tuesday’s workload. Then he’ll need to throw to live hitters, so it will probably be a few more weeks until he’s able to return to the Boston rotation.
When that happens, Boston will hopefully get the Eovaldi who wowed everyone last postseason and not the version that started the season. The 29-year-old made just four starts before landing on the Injured List, allowing 14 earned runs over his 21 innings of work for a 6.00 ERA while struggling with his command, issuing 11 walks while striking out just 16.