Nathan Eovaldi will make his long-awaited return to the Red Sox and be in the bullpen tonight in Baltimore.
Eovaldi, out after undergoing surgery April 23 to remove loose bodies from his pitching elbow, was activated from the 60-day injured list Saturday and added to the 25-man roster. To make room right-hander Ryan Weber was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
That's where the right-hander made his first appearance in a game since April 17. He struck out the side Thursday in his one-inning stint for the PawSox against Louisville.
Eovaldi, a postseason hero as a reliever for the Red Sox in their run to the World Series title last fall, will be back in that role as he will be used to help reinforce a shaky bullpen that has blown an American League-high 18 saves.
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Manager Alex Cora said Eovaldi won't necessarily close games, but he didn't rule it out. The Red Sox have worked without a set closer all season, leading to speculation that Eovaldi would take over the role.
"Everyone says 'closer.' He'll help in the bullpen," Cora told MLB Network Radio last week. "We'll make that decision when we have to. He's coming off injury/surgery. Putting him in one role and go from there, it will benefit us, but at the same time, it's going to benefit him as far as his health. It's very structured, and we can use him that way. Hopefully, he can contribute the way we expect and we can take off."
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