There is much consternation about Nathan Eovaldi being rushed back. Part of this is due to the news that he will not be used on back to back days, at least to start. But the Red Sox have seen this act before, and it was a thing of beauty. In 2013 Koji Uehara was used with kids gloves and it resulted in a World Series Championship.
What it could look like
In 2013 Koji managed to rack up 21 Saves. He got his first Save on May17th, but he didn’t start getting them consistently until June 26th. In the end here are his raw days off numbers from that year:
- Days worked with at least a day off: 80%
- Days off before working back to back: 2.27
- Times working three straight days: 1
It just so happened Uehara had five days off before his only time pitching back to back to back.
Eovaldi will be starting a month later, more or less, than when Koji started in 2013. But from here on out it’s conceivable he could save 15-20 games for the 2019 Red Sox. And while both pitchers had and have injury histories, Koji was 38, while Eovaldi is 29. Koji worked with guile and an almost unbelievable .565 WHIP. Incredibly, Nathan Eovaldi, pitching against the best competition in last year’s playoffs, had a .536 WHIP. And unlike Koji, he has high 90s heat.
Alex Cora will have a hard time not using Eovaldi back to back if there are save situations galore over the next two weeks against the Rays and Yankees. But Alex Cora is a better manager than John Farrell was. Having watched Uehara in 2013 we’ve seen this kind of thing before. It is not a reason to be worried about Nathan Eovaldi in the Closer’s role.
Featured Image Via The Boston Herald