Red Sox

Red Sox put Eovaldi on injured list with elbow issue, call up Poyner

Red Sox put Eovaldi on injured list with elbow issue, call up Poyner

Like most of the Red Sox starting rotation early this season, it's been a struggle for Nathan Eovaldi (6.00 ERA, 1.524 WHIP) through his first four starts.

Now we likely know why.

The Red Sox placed Eovaldi on the 10-day injured list with a loose body in the right elbow, retroactive to April 18. It's the same injury that caused Eovaldi to miss the first two months of the season last year before the Red Sox acquired him at the trade deadline from the Tampa Bay Rays. He didn't make his first start until May 30 after he had surgery at the end of March to remove loose bodies from the elbow. 

However, Eovaldi does not seem worried about the idea of another surgery.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters, including Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, in St. Petersburg that Eovaldi will see a specialist in New York on Monday. to determine if surgery is needed. He was unable to stretch his arm out because of where the loose bodies are in his elbow. The 29-year-old has also twice undergone Tommy John surgery. 

To take his roster spot, the Red Sox have called up left-handed reliever Bobby Poyner from Triple-A Pawtucket. Eovaldi pitched well in his last start, going six innings and allowing one run against the Yankees on Wednesday night. The Yanks rallied to win 5-3 on Brett Gardner's grand slam off Ryan Brasier.

The Sox have used Hector Velasquez as a spot starter in the rotation already this season, so he'd be a good candidate to take Eovaldi's turn Monday against the Detroit Tigers when the team returns home from this trip. 

Eovaldi, of course, was a postseason hero for the Red Sox last year, famously throwing 97 pitches in a six-plus inning relief effort before allowing Max Muncy's walk-off home run in the 18th inning to end the longest Series game ever in a 3-2 Sox loss in Game 3. He had a 1.61 ERA in six postseason appearances, including two starts, last fall.  He parlayed that into a four-year, $68 million contract he signed in the offseason to remain in Boston. 

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MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Part 3, Numbers 50-26

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Part 3, Numbers 50-26

With MLB players and owners struggling to come to terms on a return-to-play strategy for 2020, we're focusing on the actual players who will take the field when games eventually get back underway.

Over the next several weeks, NBC Sports Boston is counting down the Top 100 players for 2020. While our list won't include several aces who will definitely not play this season — Noah Syndergaard of the Mets, Luis Severino of the Yankees, and Chris Sale of the Red Sox — our countdown includes many other All-Stars.

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Red Sox closer Brandon Workman kicked off our list at No. 100, and our next group of 25 players included Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

As we continue our countdown and move into the Top 50, we find J.D. Martinez, who has broken out into a feared hitter after a slow start to his career. Released by the Astros before the 2014 season, he remade his approach, flourished with the Tigers and now has made back-to-back All-Star teams with the Sox. 

Now 32, he's an established veteran, but it's also possible the late bloomer is only early in his prime years. So where does he land on our Top 100?

Click here for Part 3 of our countdown of MLB's Top 100 players.

Pedro Martinez hopes MLB owners, players can think about fans and compromise

Pedro Martinez hopes MLB owners, players can think about fans and compromise

The NHL has announced a return-to-play strategy. The NBA could announce its plan as soon as Thursday after a Board of Governors vote.

And then there's Major League Baseball.

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MLB's first proposal was quickly shot down by the Players' Association, which submitted its own plan over the weekend. That's also expected to be immediately dismissed. And as the days tick by, the hopes for a 2020 season get dimmer. While there's still time to salvage a season, the lack of productive dialogue between the league and the MLBPA is getting discouraging.

Speaking on NBC Sports Network's "Lunch Talk Live" on Monday afternoon, Pedro Martinez voiced his frustration with the stalemate.

"I'm hoping that both sides actually stop thinking about their own good and start thinking about the fans," Martinez said. "I think this is a perfect time to have their baseball teams out there and try to have the people forget a little bit about what's going on. It's not only the pandemic, it's everything that's going on. People need something to actually do and find a way to relax. I hope that the Players' Association and MLB realize how important it is to bring some sort of relief to people."

Martinez is spot-on with the sentiment that sports returning would be a welcome respite from the news right now. But getting players back on the field is proving to be complicated, especially as the sides navigate the financials of a shorter season without revenue from tickets.

"The economics is the dark part of baseball. The business part of baseball is dirty. It's dark," Martinez told Tirico. "And I hope that they take into consideration who pays our salaries, what the people do for us, how important the people are, and forget about or at least bend your arm a little bit to find a middle ground for the negotiations.

Let's not be selfish about it. Let's think about the fans, let's think about the families that are home that want to at least watch a baseball game and distract themselves from all the things that are going on.

Ongoing disputes over money are reflecting horribly on the sport, and cancelling the entire 2020 season could do irreperable harm to a sport that has seen its popularity ebb in recent years.

Fans can only hope that the sides take Pedro's advice, and find some common ground — and do it quickly.