Nathan Eovaldi Was Nasty in His Third Spring Start


Nathan Eovaldi has been nasty this spring and he continued his dominance on the mound against the Blue Jays on Saturday.  Eovaldi pitched three shutout innings, he struck out four while allowing only one hit and one walk. 

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Eovaldi came out firing with a 97-mph fastball to open the game and another to get the final swinging strike of a first inning.  He would throw a total of 57 pitches in his victory over the Blue Jays. 

Eovaldi has been solid in each of his three starts this spring.  Over the course of his three starts this spring he has 12 strikeouts and four hits allowed in eight innings pitched.  In addition he has not allowed a run all spring while only walking one batter. 

In now three starts, Eovaldi has looked good against the Twins, Braves and Blue Jays.  While I understand that it is spring training, it gives a glimmer of hope for a Red Sox team who desperately will need quality and dependable starting pitching this season. 

Eovaldi has thrown straight cheddar this spring.  His fastball reached 100 mph against the Twins earlier this spring.  He has been blowing away the opposing hitters, which has Red Sox fans excited. 

“I’ve never had an issue with throwing hard.  I feel like in spring training, it has always been there for me,” Eovaldi said.  “Unfortunately, it has just been the command of my off-speed pitches.  Right now, I feel like my command is doing pretty well for both of those, the fastball and the off-speed pitches.  I just feel really balanced in everything with my mechanics right now.”

He has arguably looked as good as any Red Sox pitcher in camp this year. 

“Really good again.  Locating his fastball well,” said interim manager Ron Roenicke said to MassLive.  “Threw some great splitters and curveballs.  When he’s got his command and has his pitches working, he’s very difficult.”

MLB T-shirts at Fanatics.comLast season, Eovaldi struggled all season where he finished with a 5.99 ERA in 67 2/3 innings of work.  He made four regular season starts last year before needing surgery to remove loose bodies from his right pitching elbow.  The injury and the surgery shut down Eovaldi for more than three months. 

Upon the return from his injury struggled as both a starter and a reliever.  The speculation he could become the Red Sox closer was rampant as he started to rehab from the surgery.  Ultimately Brandon Workman was used as the team’s closer last season, and Eovaldi looked lost on the mound. 

The Red Sox need a healthy Eovaldi for the entire season.  The Red Sox will monitor Eovaldi and hope that his durability will be there for this rotation.  With Chris Sale’s outlook for the season unknown, the Red Sox will need not only Eovaldi but Eduardo Rodriguez and Martin Perez. 

According to Fangraphs, the Red Sox are projected to have the 20th best rotation in baseball.  The Red Sox have a good lineup to guide them this season, but it is a lineup that will only go as far as their pitching will take them.  On our Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later, immediately after the first rendition of the Mookie Betts trade I proclaimed this team a 77-82 game winner.  That was before knowing what we know about Sale and the team’s lack of starting pitching depth.  I do think their lineup is good enough to take them far into the season, but, they’ll only go as far as this team’s pitching will take them. 

Eovaldi couldn’t have said it any better following the Red Sox 5-2 win.  “We've got a deadly lineup, and a lot of the guys are still here," he said.  "We're still going to put up a lot of runs.  It's just that the pitching has to keep us in ballgames."

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Nathan Eovaldi Was Nasty in His Third Spring Start
Nathan Eovaldi Was Nasty in His Third Spring Start
Boston Sports Syndicate
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