Biceps tendinitis stymies Nathan Eovaldi’s potential return
The Red Sox hoped to have Nathan Eovaldi back in their rotation by the middle of the month. But the righthander has biceps tendinitis and his next bullpen session has been pushed back, manager Alex Cora said Sunday.
“We’ll make sure everything is fine with that. We’ll take a look at the mechanics,” Cora said. “We’ll make an adjustment from that and hopefully during the week, he gets back on track. But until the symptoms go away we’re not going to push it.”
Eovaldi had surgery April 23 to remove a bone chip from his elbow and, until the last few days, had been progressing on schedule.
Eovaldi threw a 22-pitch simulated game May 31 in New York and said he felt “back to himself,” then threw a 36-pitch one June 4 in Kansas City. He was anticipated to throw another this weekend, but “felt off,” Cora said.
Mitch Moreland learned the right quad strain that put him back on the injured list Saturday morning wasn’t as severe as he feared. Moreland worked on the treadmill Sunday and the Sox decided to forgo further testing on the injury.
“Actually a lot better than we thought he would be — a lot better than he thought he was feeling,” Cora said. “So we’ll stay with that and if something else comes up during the week, then we’ll make adjustments.”
Meanwhile, J.D. Martinez was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game because of back spasms, but the Sox have no plans to put the slugger on the injured list. Cora said the team was hoping to have him back in the lineup soon.
Johnson closing in
With his 30-day rehab assignment set to end Thursday, lefthander Brian Johnson (elbow) threw four innings for Triple A Pawtucket on Sunday. He threw 62 pitches (36 strikes) and held the Rochester Red Wings to one run on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks in a 5-3 loss.
“BJ is getting really close,” Cora said.
Knuckleballer Steven Wright, who’s still serving an 80-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, followed him and threw 26 pitches over 1⅔ innings. He gave up a two-out solo homer to Red Wings center fielder Jake Cave.
Wright is able to make rehab appearances while on suspension, but isn’t eligible to return until June 25. When he does, he’ll be used as a reliever, Cora said.
“He feels good,” Cora said. “He’s been moving well, no problems, going through the progression. Doing everything, so far, so good.”
Tyler Thornburg (hip) threw 18 pitches in a scoreless inning with one strikeout, while Tzu-Wei Lin (knee) went 2 for 3 playing shortstop.
Steve Pearce (lower back strain) went through light running drills before the game and was cleared to start baseball activities as soon as Monday. “Feeling a lot better,” Cora said. “He hasn’t picked up a bat since New York. So tomorrow probably start hitting off the tee, soft toss, going through the progression.” Meanwhile, Hector Velazquez will throw one or two more side sessions before starting a rehab assignment. Velazquez threw between Saturday’s doubleheader and he’ll likely throw again Tuesday . . . After leaving his start for Double A Portland after one inning Saturday, Darwinzon Hernandez could possibly go for the Sox on Tuesday against the Texas Rangers. The 22-year-old lefthander made one relief appearance for the Sox in a 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on April 23, striking out four in 2⅓ scoreless innings while giving up four hits and one walk. He is 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) for the Sea Dogs this season . . . Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi were out Sunday with scheduled off days. Devers, 0 for 12 with five strikeouts his previous three games, took the time to regroup. “He’s not dominating the strike zone,” Cora said. “I think he has two walks in the last 70 at-bats. It’s not that it’s uncommon, but I was a little bit worried because his strikeouts were getting higher and his walks were staying the same. So when that happens, it’s just a matter of time for you to keep chasing pitches up the zone and there’s no hard contact on those pitches. So I think the day off, take a look at a few things — we talked about it yesterday, too — he’ll be OK for tomorrow.” . . . The Puerto Rican reggaeton duo of Wisin and Yandel, who have a combined 20.6 million followers on Instagram, were at Fenway for the game and threw out first pitches. They also met with Cora and several players and coaches . . . With the Bruins forcing a Game 7 on Wednesday night at TD Garden, the Red Sox moved their game that night with Texas to a 4:05 p.m. start.