Red Sox

Nathan Eovaldi says Red Sox bullpen being overworked is 'on him'

Nathan Eovaldi says Red Sox bullpen being overworked is 'on him'

When it comes to the Red Sox's scuffling bullpen, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Enter Nathan Eovaldi, who apparently will be the team's closer when he returns from the injured list. The team hasn't ruled out the hard-throwing right-hander returning as a starter later on in the season, but in the near term, he'll work out of the 'pen.

Before Wednesday night's matchup against the Blue Jays in Toronto, Eovaldi said he told the team he didn’t have to come back as a starter when he realized just how long it would take to work up to that point. He also took responsibility for the Red Sox bullpen being overworked this season, per Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic.

Would the Red Sox pitching staff have benefitted from a healthy Eovaldi this season? Absolutely. But the bullpen's ongoing struggles go well beyond the 29-year-old's elbow injury. 

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said on Wednesday the decision to use Eovaldi as a closer was due to a sense of "urgency," but acknowledged the plan could change depending on Eovaldi's performance or potential acquisitions.

As for when exactly Eovaldi will return, that remains to be seen. While Dombrowski says it could happen immediately after the All-Star break, Eovaldi is taking a cautiously optimistic approach.

“It just depends on how fast they want to try to move it,” Eovaldi said per Christopher Smith of MassLive. “We don’t really want to jump too far ahead because we don’t want to have any setbacks or anything like that. Right now I feel really good. I don’t think it’s going to take too long.”

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Curt Schilling on Hall of Fame: 'If I'm outside the Hall of Fame with Luis Tiant, I'm all right'

Curt Schilling on Hall of Fame: 'If I'm outside the Hall of Fame with Luis Tiant, I'm all right'

Curt Schilling is in his eighth year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Is this the year that he'll finally get in?

The former pitcher spent 20 years in the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Boston Red Sox. He went 216-146 record, a 3.46 ERA, and 3,116 strikeouts (good for 15th most all-time) in his storied career. 

It's his postseason dominance (11-2, 2.23 ERA) that elevates Schilling's Hall candidacy. He's a three-time World Series winner, two of which came with the Red Sox, was a co-Series MVP with Randy Johnson in 2001 with the Diamondbacks and was named an All-Star six times.

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Despite his numbers, Schilling hasn't gotten into the Hall yet. While he may be inching closer to making the cut, he isn't counting on getting in with the 2020 class.

"I don't think I'm going to make it this year," Schilling told MLB Network's Bob Costas in a recent interview. "The trend has usually been that players will drop a certain amount of percentage between the public and the private ballots. And I don't think I'm high enough above that 75 [percent needed for election] for the tail-off not to get me."

Though Schilling doesn't think he'll get in, he's not worrying about it too much. And he's focusing on the fact that there are plenty of great players who never made the Hall of Fame, including another former Red Sox ace.

"There are also some pretty good people who aren't in the Hall of Fame," Schilling said. "If I'm outside the Hall of Fame with Luis Tiant, I'm all right."

Schilling does have a good point. There are plenty of great, deserving players that haven't made the cut for the Hall of Fame. He still has three more chances to get in, so perhaps his time will come.

And speaking of Tiant, there surely is a case for him to be a Hall of Famer. He went 229-172 with a 3.30 ERA in a 19-year career and also struck out 2,416 batters. Had the Red Sox gotten him a ring in 1975, perhaps he would've had a stronger case to get in.

Red Sox add LHP Matt Hall via trade with Tigers, designate Travis Lakins for assignment

Red Sox add LHP Matt Hall via trade with Tigers, designate Travis Lakins for assignment

The Boston Red Sox made their second trade of the week Friday.

The Sox acquired left-handed reliever Matt Hall from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for minor league catcher Jhon Nunez.

Hall appeared in 21 games for the Tigers the past two seasons. He was 0-1 with a 9.48 ERA, 32 strikeouts, 18 walks and a 2.07 WHIP in 31 1/3 innings in that span. Hall made his major league debut for Detroit in 2018.

To make room for Hall on the team's 40-man roster, the team designated right-handed pitcher Travis Lakins for assignment, per Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic.

Lakins, 25, made his major league debut in 2019 and logged 16 appearances for the Red Sox. He went 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA, 18 strikeouts, 10 walks and a 1.41 WHIP in 23 1/3 innings of work.

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On Wednesday, the Red Sox traded first baseman/outfielder Sam Travis to the Texas Rangers in exchange for left-handed reliever Jeffrey Springs, while also designating lefty pitcher Bobby Poyner for assignment.