Boston Red Sox

  • In the weeks leading up to the MLB All-Star break, the Red Sox have been working with a pitching staff seemingly held together with scotch tape. Injuries have caused the team to have to juggle both the starting rotation and bullpen amid a crucial stretch that saw them play six of seven series against AL East opponents.

    The seventh and final series of that stretch begins Friday night, when the Sox head to the Bronx for three games against the first place Yankees – the final three games before the break begins on Monday. As the series gets  started, the Sox will be getting major pitching reinforcements.

    Nathan Eovaldi  is expected to get the start in the series opener Friday night after coming off the IL. Eovaldi hasn’t pitched since June 8, having missed time with lower back inflammation. Eovaldi made one rehab start, which came last Sunday in Worcester. He allowed two runs on five hits in three innings, while recording four strikeouts. In total, he threw 54 pitches on the day.

  • Prior to getting hurt, Eovaldi had been Boston’s best starter this season. In 12 starts in 2022, he’s 4-2 with a 3.16 ERA and 1.098 WHIP.

    It’s not just the rotation that’s getting a boost, but the back end of the bullpen as well. Garrett Whitlock is expected to return in a bullpen role after dealing with right hip inflammation. He’s seen time as a starter, long reliever, and closer so far this season. In total, he’s made 13 appearances with nine starts this season.

    Whitlock made two rehab appearances, with the most recent one coming on Tuesday. He threw two scoreless innings for the Portland Sea Dogs, allowing just one hit.

  • The Red Sox rotation will look more familiar as the series goes on as well. Nick Pivetta is slated to get the start on Saturday, follow by Chris Sale getting the ball for the final game before the break. That will be Sale’s second start of the year, after throwing five scoreless innings against Tampa on Tuesday.

    Offensively, the Red Sox are still waiting to see about second baseman Trevor Story. Story hasn’t played since Tuesday, when he left the game early after getting hit in the wrist by a pitch. Multiple reports have indicated he’s not expected to need to go on the IL.

    Entering Friday’s game, the Red Sox are tied with the Blue Jays for the final of three Wild Card spots in the American League. They’re two and a half games behind the Rays for the top spot, one game behind the Mariners, and a game and a half up on the red-hot Orioles. They’ll be looking to kick a four-game losing streak against a Yankees team that has also struggled as of late, and is 4-6 in its last 10 games.