Nate Eovaldi (right shoulder inflammation) tossed a four-inning simulated game Sunday morning at Fenway Park.
The righthander threw 65 pitches against hitters, including Tommy Pham and Trevor Story.
“I felt good,” Eovaldi said prior to the Sox’ 13-3 win. “I was trying to use all of my pitches. It was a little tough getting it going early in the morning. But I felt like I was finishing my pitches for the most part. I mixed them all up.”
If all goes well, Eovaldi could be back in the mix soon, beginning with a rehab start Friday for the WooSox. If Eovaldi comes out of that start without any issues, there’s a strong chance he will pitch in the Sox’ next home series against the Orioles.
Even though the Sox are out of the playoff hunt, Eovaldi still wants to finish the season on a positive note. Eovaldi especially wants to get back on the mound for Red Sox fans. The righthander is set to be a free agent at the end of this year, though the Sox could extend him a qualifying offer.
“I love pitching at Fenway regardless of the time of the year, especially with it possibly being my last year,” Eovaldi said. “Our fans are outstanding and show love and support. I mean, [Saturday night] we had a sellout crowd. That means a lot to us.”
Eovaldi stayed healthy for much of the previous two seasons.
In 2022, however, injuries — which have plagued him for most of his career — became an issue again. He missed a chunk of the summer with hip and back issues, then hit the injured list again in late August with shoulder inflammation.
“You don’t want to finish the year on the [injured list],” manager Alex Cora said. “There are different [reasons] why. To go through all this stuff and at least go out there and perform, it means a lot. Not only for him but for us too. So that’s what we all will try to shoot for and hopefully it happens.”
The original plan was for Story to play during the most recent Yankee series at Fenway Park. But that timeline has been pushed back for nearly a week. The hope now is for Story to be ready for the team’s upcoming two-game set against the Reds which is set to begin Tuesday. Story has no problems when he’s hitting. He’s moving around well in the field, too. But running is an issue. Story getting back in the lineup comes down to pain tolerance, Cora suggested.
Brayan Bello on deck
The Sox will have Brayan Bello on the mound Tuesday. Wednesday starter is still to be determined. For the four-game set against the Yankees in New York, Michael Wacha will start the series opener Thursday, followed by Rich Hill, Nick Pivetta, and Bello … The Red Sox would like to see Kutter Crawford (right shoulder impingement) go through some sort of progression on the mound, but it’s very doubtful that he actually pitches in a game again this season … The Red Sox will finish the season with 16 games in as many days.