Red Sox

Here's when Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi could be activated

Here's when Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi could be activated

It appears Nathan Eovaldi is close to making his long-awaited return to the mound.

The Red Sox right-hander underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow on April 23 and has dealt with setbacks due to bicep soreness throughout his rehab. But in Alex Cora's appearance Wednesday on WEEI's "Ordway, Fauria & Merolini," he revealed Eovaldi could be activated as soon as this weekend.

On Thursday, Eovaldi saw game action for the first time since April, pitching a scoreless inning for the PawSox and striking out the side.

Cora revealed after Eovaldi's successful rehab outing he'll be traveling with the team to Baltimore, though he won't be activated on Friday.

When Eovaldi does return, he'll be tasked with helping to straighten out the Red Sox' ongoing bullpen issues.

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Christian Vazquez hits first career grand slam, 20th home run of 2019

Christian Vazquez hits first career grand slam, 20th home run of 2019

Christian Vazquez's career year at the plate continued Sunday, hitting his first career grand slam against the Phillies. 

It was also the 20th home run of the year for the fifth-year catcher, blowing away his former career-high in home runs (five in 2017).

Vazquez holds career highs in virtually every offensive category, which has earned him the regular starting job behind the plate as opposed to sharing time with Sandy Leon. 

His resurgence has also helped the Red Sox maintain an elite level of production offensively from last year's dominant World Series run.  Unfortunately subpar pitching will keep the team from returning to the playoffs, but if Vazquez can build off this season there's no reason to believe this lineup can't continue into 2020.

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Alex Cora: Eduardo Rodriguez has been "throwing like an ace" all season

Alex Cora: Eduardo Rodriguez has been "throwing like an ace" all season

After another superb outing against the Phillies Saturday night, Eduardo Rodriguez earned high praise from his manager Alex Cora. 

"He’s throwing like an ace," Cora said on NESN postgame. "We’re very happy with the progress. The fact that it’s Sept. 14, 15, and he’s as strong as early in the season. That’s good to see.”

Rodriguez didn't secure his 18th win of the year thanks to a seventh-inning walk with the bases loaded, but that doesn't take away from a 12-strikeout performance.

Rodriguez now has a 3.64 ERA in over 185 innings pitched. The Sox need Rodriguez to come into his own if they hope to stay in contention long term, and he continues to show progress toward reaching his potential. 

Rodriguez still has a chance to get to 20 wins, but he'll have to win each of the three starts he has left in 2019. 

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