Nathan Eovaldi made his spring debut on Wednesday and picked up right where he left off last October.
The Red Sox right-hander tossed three innings against the Twins, allowing one hit (a solo home run), walking one, and striking out another. But what made his outing particularly impressive was his velocity.
Eovaldi's first pitch of the game was clocked at 94 mph. It appeared as though he was easing into things since the 29-year-old is known to reach back and throw around 100 mph with relative ease. Then, the next pitch to Minnesota's leadoff hitter Marwin Gonzalez went for 99 mph.
Yep, he's still got it.
Following his first spring start of the new year, Eovaldi seemed satisfied with his results.
“I felt really good out there,’’ Eovaldi said. “I threw a lot of first-pitch strikes. I wanted to work on my splitter and my curveball today and I was able to do that. I’m just trying to work on consistency, work on my mechanics out there, and repeat good pitches.
‘’I went back down to the bullpen after I came out and threw 15 more pitches down there. My arm feels good, my body feels good. I’m just training to repeat those mechanics as much as I can in a game.’’
The Red Sox re-signing Eovaldi to a four-year, $67.5 million contract during the offseason was a clear vote of confidence in his ability to carry his postseason success over into the 2019 campaign. If he can live up to anywhere near those expectations, his presence in the rotation alongside Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez will be ominous for opposing hitters.
"I feel like we can be great,” Eovaldi said. “Being with the guys again and being able to go out there and compete with everybody, I feel like it’s just getting ready for the start of the season.”
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