BOSTON – Nathan Eovaldi went from out-of-contention Tampa Bay to a Boston Red Sox team with the best record in the major leagues.
“I’m super excited to be here,” Eovaldi said Thursday before a series opener against Minnesota. “Expectations are definitely high.”
Eovaldi was acquired Wednesday for minor league left-hander Jalen Beeks as the Red Sox added pitching depth for the final two months of regular season.
In his return from Tommy John surgery that had sidelined him since 2016, Eovaldi is 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 10 starts. He has held right-handed hitters to a .207 batting average, which could prove beneficial against a New York Yankees batting order that includes Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Eovaldi will make his Red Sox debut in Sunday’s series finale against the Twins, his first start since July 20. David Price will be pushed back a day.
“He’s been throwing the ball well,” Cora said of Eovaldi. “He’s healthy, which is the most important thing. His velocity is way up there. Usage of secondary pitches has been really great. We feel good about him. We feel that he’s going to help us do what we’re trying to accomplish.”
To make room on the roster for Eovaldi, Boston optioned right-hander Brandon Workman to Triple-A Pawtucket. He is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 21 appearances for Boston this year.
“He wasn’t too thrilled about it, which I understand,” Cora said. “He’ll be back. I don’t know how soon, but he’ll be back.”
Eovaldi said he’s looking at this final stretch run as an audition for 2019. He is eligible for free agency after the World Series.
“I try not to put any extra pressure on myself,” Eovaldi said. “I try to treat each game as though it may be my last and try to go out there and do the best I can every time. … You want to finish on the highest level possible. Coming here with the Red Sox, that’s winning the World Series.”
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