Yankees doctor performs surgery on Nathan Eovaldi
Nathan Eovaldi had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to remove a loose body from his elbow. Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad did the procedure at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
Yes, the Yankees team physician did surgery on a Red Sox pitcher.
When Eovaldi was with the Yankees, Ahmad handled his Tommy John surgery in 2016 and the righthander came to trust him. Neither team had an issue with the arrangement.
“From what I heard everything went well,” Sox manager Alex Cora said. “He should be fine when he comes back and ready to roll.”
Eovaldi had two loose bodies removed from his elbow last March 30 when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays and made his first minor league rehabilitation start May 4. He was back in the majors May 30.
Eovaldi predicted Saturday that the timetable would be quicker this time around because the Rays were being ultra cautious following his recovery from Tommy John.
“I’ll be back on the mound pretty quick,” Eovaldi said. “The Rays had me make four starts in the minors. I don’t think I’ll need that many. It’s good that I’ll know what to expect.”
The Red Sox will need a replacement starter for at least 5-6 weeks.
Hector Velazquez started in Eovaldi’s place in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers and the plan is for him to stay in that slot.
“We’ll go from there. We’ll make adjustments if we have to,” Cora said.
Because of Monday’s rainout, the Sox will need a starter for Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay.
Lefthander Bobby Poyner pitched the ninth inning of Game 1 and gave up a run in a hurry. He walked Jeimer Candelario ahead of singles by Nick Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera.
Poyner was optioned back to Triple A Pawtucket after the game replaced by righthander Travis Lakins.
Lakins, 24, was a sixth-round pick out of Ohio State in 2015. He was moved to the bullpen last season, which greatly improved both his strikeout rate and stock as a prospect.
Lakins, who was given No. 65, appeared in six games for Pawtucket and gave up three runs on nine hits over eight innings. He pitched 2⅔ innings against the Tigers and allowed one run.
The Sox also called up their top pitching prospect, 22-year-old lefthander Darwinzon Hernandez, to serve as the 26th player for the second game of the doubleheader.
Hernandez pitched 2⅓ innings of scoreless relief, working around four hits and a walk by striking out four. He was then returned to Portland.
In case you were wondering who the emergency catcher is, the task has fallen to infielder Tzu-Wei Lin.
“I didn’t have too many volunteers to say the least,” Cora said.
That issue never came up last season because the Red Sox carried three catchers for the bulk of the year. But when the Sox parted with Blake Swihart last week, that left only Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez.
The Sox have hit for Leon in two of the three games he has started, so it’s certainly possible an injury to Vazquez could force Lin into the game.
Lin took a few lessons with Jason Varitek in spring training last year. He feels he could do it, but hopes it doesn’t come to that.
“I don’t know if we’re comfortable with it. It’s one I have to get used to,” Cora said. “It’s not the roster we had last year. Last year you had the freedom to do whatever you wanted in that spot early or later because you knew you had two more [catchers].”
Holt getting closer
Brock Holt, out since April 6 with a scratched right cornea, has been taking batting practice off a pitching machine and is close to going on another minor league rehab assignment. Holt tried a contact lens over his eye but that did not work. “It’s pretty much healed up on its own,” he said. “I’m seeing the ball well now.” Holt will need a few games in the minors to get his timing back . . . Dustin Pedroia, who is on the injured list with inflammation in his left knee, did some running in the outfield between games . . . Cora was asked if Michael Chavis was the most enthusiastic rookie he has encountered. “Nobody like Pedroia,” he said . . . J.D. Martinez had an 11-game hit streak snapped when he was 0 for 4 in the first game . . . Steve Pearce reached on catcher’s interference in the fourth inning of Game 1. It was the first time in his 13-year career Pearce reached in such a fashion. The last Red Sox player to reach that way was Aaron Hill on Sept. 21, 2016, against Baltimore . . . The scoreboard on the Green Monster included the Leafs-Bruins game across town.
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.