Eovaldi will start Monday against the Orioles, then will likely follow Rick Porcello out of the bullpen next Friday against the Yankees, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports. Manager Alex Cora wouldn't commit to Eovaldi being a reliever during the postseason, preferring to see which team the Red Sox will be facing. "We don't know who we're going to play," Cora said. "We're getting ahead of ourselves. You guys know I hate to get ahead of myself. If we win the division we don't know who we're going to play. Who matches up better against [the Yankees] or Oakland or the Rays?" That likely means Cora may prefer to have Eovaldi start if the Yankees are the opponent. The right-hander has a 2.11 ERA and 0.78 WHIP over 21.1 innings in three starts against the Bronx Bombers this season.
Eovaldi allowed two hits and two walks over six shutout innings during Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Yankees. He struck out five and did not factor in the decision. Eovaldi pitched fantastic against the Yankees but was pulled at 83 pitches (52 strikes), only for the bullpen to allow three runs during the seventh inning. The 28-year-old worked beyond the fourth inning for the first time since Aug. 21 and now has a 3.98 ERA and 1.15 WHIP this season.
Eovaldi will make his next start Tuesday against the Yankees, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. Eovaldi pitched 3.2 innings Tuesday after Chris Sale pitched one inning to open the game. With Sale making his return from injury, the Red Sox wanted to go easy on the left-hander and had Eovaldi serve as the primary pitcher. His role going forward had been somewhat unclear, but it looks like he'll return to Boston's rotation for the remainder of the regular season.
Eovaldi will be called upon in long relief Tuesday against the Blue Jays, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. Eovaldi will pitch in relief Tuesday, with Chris Sale expected to serve as the opener, although the southpaw will be held to two innings or 40 pitches. Eovaldi also figures to be at the ready to take over in Sale's next start, with the Red Sox slowly stretching their ace out. Eovaldi's usage going forward will likely depend on how Sale responds after coming back from shoulder inflammation, but unless he suffers a setback, Eovaldi is expected to remain in the bullpen.
Eovaldi lasted just 3.1 innings Monday against the Braves but did not allow a run, giving up two hits and four walks while striking out four. He did not factor into the decision. The Braves ultimately couldn't get to Eovaldi, but he labored significantly throughout his start, requiring 86 pitches to record just 10 outs. After an excellent start to his Boston career, Eovaldi has now made three straight starts of no more than four innings. He's averaged just 3.7 innings over his last six appearances. It's unclear whether or not the Red Sox will keep faith with him, as they have two off days in the next seven days and Chris Sale potentially returning from his shoulder injury.