Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Sox on Thursday laid off 10 percent of their full-time employees as approximately 40 people largely on the business side of the front office were let go. Earlier this month, the Sox informed nine baseball operations employees in player development, amateur scouting and pro scouting their contracts would not be renewed.
The 10 percent figure includes those groups in addition to Thursday’s group.
“Today we delivered the very difficult news to approximately 10 percent of our full-time employees that their positions are being eliminated due to the profound impact of this ongoing pandemic,” said Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy. "While we recognize that nothing can replace the security of a full-time job, we have set up a number of assistance measures including severance pay, healthcare, and outplacement support to help them find new opportunities.
“We are grateful for the enormous contributions of these employees and we will support them as they navigate this difficult transition.”
The Sox aren’t alone in the reduction of the team’s workforce.
Just this week, the Atlanta Braves laid off “dozens” of employees due to the ongoing pandemic. The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs have also followed suit.
At the collegiate level, the UMass athletic department also announced on Thursday staff reductions and furloughs.
Red Sox owner John Henry, who also owns the Boston Globe, had more than 400 full-time employees in those departments, meaning roughly 40 individuals lost their jobs.
Nate Eovaldi always had the stuff you can’t teach. A power arm capable of heating up a radar at 100-plus miles per hour doesn’t come around often. You see glimpses of dominance from the Red Sox starter. His fastball much like his cutter and curveball— and splitter when it’s on — can overwhelm hitters. He can make it look easy.
But that’s not to say Eovaldi hasn’t had to deal with his share of difficulties, getting knocked off his stride by a right calf strain that landed him on the injured list for 10 days.
On Thursday, Sox fans got to see the Eovaldi who could make it look easy. He threw five shutout innings, striking out seven in a 5-3 win over the host Miami Marlins.
Eovaldi allowed just two hits, both of which didn’t come until the fifth inning. He threw just 76 pitches in that span, but the Sox opted to proceed with caution after getting Eovaldi back from the injured list.
“I know he wants to be out there and compete,” pitching coach Dave Bush said prior to the game. “We want to make sure his healthy to end the year, going into the offseason that everything is working the right way.”
Eovaldi’s recent injury marks five consecutive years the righthander has done an IL stint. Before the COVID-19 shutdown, Eovaldi touched on wanting to stay healthy. In a season shortened to 60 games, it’s been hard to get an accurate gauge of what Eovaldi will be for the Sox going forward. Yet, even with the small sample size where he’s compiled a 4.25 ERA in eight starts, Eovaldi felt he could build off his effort going into the offseason.
“I feel like I’ve attacked the zone these last couple of outings,” Eovaldi said. “Throwing the ball in mixing in all my pitches and not just relying on my fastball. I feel like my curveball has been really good this year. I’m going to the offseason and the main goal is to stay healthy but also being ready to go for next season as well.”
Taylor has no setbacks
Lefthanded pitcher Josh Taylor came out of his throwing session Monday feeling well. There’s still no timeline on his return . . . . Infielder Yairo Munoz left Thursday’s game with back spasms on his right side and was listed as day-to-day . . . Lefthanded pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez could be activated off the injured list within the next couple of days.