Turning things around just got a bit harder for the Boston Red Sox. Postseason hero Nathan Eovaldi will have surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow, and could be out a few weeks, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
The 29-year-old Eovaldi signed a four-year, $67.5 million deal to return to the team during the offseason. Eovaldi played a key role in the team’s 2018 World Series win. Over 22 1/3 innings in the postseason, Eovaldi posted a 1.61 ERA.
Things weren’t so promising in 2019. In four starts, Eovaldi posted a 6.00 ERA. His most recent start, however, was his most encouraging. Eovaldi limited the New York Yankees to just one run over six innings. A few days after that start, he hit the Injured List.
As a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, Eovaldi underwent a similar procedure in 2018 and missed two months, according to Rosenthal. He might be able to return sooner this time around. Eovaldi is expected to miss 4-6 weeks this time, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford.
With Eovaldi out, that will put even more pressure on the struggling Red Sox rotation to get it together. Through 22 games, the team’s starters have posted a 6.28 ERA. That figure ranks dead last in baseball.
While the Red Sox showed signs of life with a three-game sweep of the Rays over the weekend, the team still sits at 9-13 on the season.
Despite Eovaldi’s slow start, losing him will still be a blow to the defending champs. The Red Sox could consider bringing in Gio Gonzalez, who was released from his deal with the Yankees on Monday.
If the Red Sox don’t go that route, they’ll have to rely on depth while hoping Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale can get back on track.
Given that it’s been just 22 games, there’s no reason to panic just yet. But considering how poorly the Red Sox’s rotation has been to open the season, losing the one player who might have turned a corner in his last start could be a significant blow.
More from Yahoo Sports: