The Red Sox suffered a blow to their rotation this past weekend when it was announced that Nathan Eovaldi was hitting the 10-day injured list with loose bodies in his elbow. It’s not the first time the 2018 World Series hero has dealt with this, as he also had this diagnosis at the beginning of last season with the Rays. He underwent surgery for that, and there was some question about whether he’d have a similar procedure for this instance. According to Ken Rosenthal, indeed he will. The Athletic scribe is reporting he will undergo the surgery on Tuesday.
#RedSox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will undergo surgery tomorrow to remove the loose bodies in his elbow, a source tells The Athletic. Had similar procedure in 2018 and missed two months while with #Rays.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 22, 2019
As you see above, Rosenthal points out that Eovaldi missed two months after last year’s surgery. There is additional context needed there, however, as he was also coming back from an extended absence after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Rays understandably took it slower with him. This time around, the same caution shouldn’t be needed. As such, the Red Sox have put a timetable of 4-6 weeks on the righty according to Rob Bradford.
Per source: Eovaldi out 4-6 weeks with loose body removal in elbow. Similar to last season— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) April 22, 2019
Including rehab appearances, I’d expect this to venture more towards the longer end of this timetable, putting him in a position to return around mid-June. That is certainly an extended absence, and the depth in this rotation will be tested. There are external options like Gio González and Dallas Keuchel available in free agency, but to this point all signs point towards Boston sticking with the internal options. Hector Velázquez will get the first stab at the spot starts, and guys like Mike Shawaryn, Chandler Shepherd and Brian Johnson when healthy could get chances as well.