Red Sox

Ex-Red Sox Jonny Gomes earns interesting promotion on Diamondbacks' staff

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USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Red Sox Jonny Gomes earns interesting promotion on Diamondbacks' staff

Jonny Gomes always has been a bit of a square peg in a round hole. It appears that trend is continuing.

The former journeyman outfielder, who spent two seasons in Boston and won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013, has been promoted to the Arizona Diamondbacks' outfield and baserunning coordinator, USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale reported Tuesday. (He had previously served as the D-backs' Rookie League team hitting coach.)

We know what you're thinking: That Jonny Gomes? The guy who stole exactly one base in Boston and was an average outfielder at best? He's in charge of a professional baseball team's outfield and baserunning?

Upon closer review, though, Gomes doesn't necessarily deserve to get laughed off the stage.

That's because the 38-year-old actually was a decent baserunner earlier in his career. His 30 steals in six seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays are more than some would expect, and he finished is career with a 14.2 baserunning runs above average, which is FanGraphs' rough baserunning equivalent of Wins Above Replacement.

Even we can't defend Gomes' fielding credentials, however: He sported a career Ultimate Zone Rating of -39.5, which you don't need to be an expert to realize is pretty bad.

Then again, we can see why Arizona's staff would have a soft spot for Gomes: Both general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo were on the Red Sox's staff during that 2013 title run.

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Eovaldi treated minor leaguers to a steak and lobster dinner after his rehab appearance

Eovaldi treated minor leaguers to a steak and lobster dinner after his rehab appearance

After pitching a scoreless inning in his one and only rehab appearance for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox earlier this week, you could say Nathan Eovaldi left with a good taste in his mouth as he resumes his major league career with Boston, beginning tonight in Baltimore. 

He made sure his minor league teammates had one, too.

Eovaldi, in the first year of a four-year, $68 million contract he signed in the offseason, treated the PawSox to a dinner of steak and lobster tail after the game, Brendan McGair of the Pawtucket Times reported:

With outfielder Rusney Castillo at Pawtucket since 2016 and still a year to go on his seven-year, $72 million deal he signed as a free agent when he left Cuba in 2014, you'd think most of the PawSox, where the minimum Triple-A salary is about $11,000, would be eating pretty good almost every game night. 

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Nathan Eovaldi activated, will be in Red Sox bullpen tonight in Baltimore

Nathan Eovaldi activated, will be in Red Sox bullpen tonight in Baltimore

Nathan Eovaldi will make his long-awaited return to the Red Sox and be in the bullpen tonight in Baltimore.

Eovaldi, out after undergoing surgery April 23 to remove loose bodies from his pitching elbow, was activated from the 60-day injured list Saturday and added to the 25-man roster. To make room right-hander Ryan Weber was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

That's where the right-hander made his first appearance in a game since April 17. He struck out the side Thursday in his one-inning stint for the PawSox against Louisville. 

Eovaldi, a postseason hero as a reliever for the Red Sox in their run to the World Series title last fall, will be back in that role as he will be used to help reinforce a shaky bullpen that has blown an American League-high 18 saves.

Manager Alex Cora said Eovaldi won't necessarily close games, but he didn't rule it out. The Red Sox have worked without a set closer all season, leading to speculation that Eovaldi would take over the role. 

"Everyone says 'closer.' He'll help in the bullpen," Cora told MLB Network Radio last week. "We'll make that decision when we have to. He's coming off injury/surgery. Putting him in one role and go from there, it will benefit us, but at the same time, it's going to benefit him as far as his health. It's very structured, and we can use him that way. Hopefully, he can contribute the way we expect and we can take off."

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