For the first time this year, the 2019 Red Sox looked like the 2018 Red Sox over the weekend. They swept three games from the Rays in Tropicana Field. It is only the second time this season Boston has strung together back-to-back wins.

Some bad news did hover over the three-game winning streak, however. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was placed on the injured list over the weekend with loose bodies in his elbow. It's serious enough to require surgery.'s Rob Bradford reports Eovaldi is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. That puts him on track to return sometime in late May or early June. Eovaldi has a long history of elbow trouble, including two Tommy John surgeries and now two surgeries to remove loose bodies. The Red Sox signed him to a four-year, $68 million contract over the winter.

Four starts into the season, Eovaldi has a 6.00 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in 21 innings. That is pretty terrible, obviously, though it's possible those loose bodies contributed to the poor performance. If not, Eovaldi won't be able to straighten things out while on the injured list. Either way, he's going to miss several weeks and the Red Sox need to come up with another starter.

Trading for rotation help this early in the season is pretty much impossible. Not even rebuilding teams are ready to dump arms in April. Realistically, the Red Sox have three options to replace Eovaldi:

  1. Stay internal. Righty Hector Velazquez is scheduled to slot into Eovaldi's rotation spot for the time being.
  2. Splurge. Hey, Dallas Keuchel is still sitting out. Still. Still waiting. A team is gonna sign him any day now.
  3. Go cheap(er). Imagine how fun it would be to stick it to Yankees and sign Gio Gonzalez after they let him opt-out of his minor league contract.

I say this not to be a buzzkill but because it is the truth: Boston is almost certainly going with option No. 1. For right now, at least. If they were willing to spend on Keuchel, they would've spent that money on Craig Kimbrel already. Gonzalez? He was available on a no-risk minor league contract less than a month ago and they didn't pounce. Hard to see them committing guaranteed millions for maybe only a two-month stopgap.

The Red Sox are likely to stick with their internal options for at least the time being because would it really be that crazy for Velazquez to match the 2019 version of Gonzalez in the AL East? I don't think so. Rarely in these injury situations do teams rush out into free agency or the trade market. That's a great way to look desperate and raise asking prices.

The three-game sweep in Tampa over the weekend doesn't mean the Red Sox are out of the woods -- they are still 9-13 with a minus-38 run differential -- and the Eovaldi injury only complicates things. They are at their best when he is healthy and productive, and they won't have that Eovaldi for another few weeks. The BoSox will have to continue trying to right the ship without him.