Rays’ right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will miss the first 6-8 weeks of the 2018 season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 28-year-old will require elbow surgery to remove loose bodies in his pitching elbow.
Eovaldi missed the entire 2017 season to recover from the second Tommy John surgery of his career. The Rays signed Eovaldi to a two-year, $44 million contract prior to last season, a contract that will now include Eovaldi on the shelf for over half of the deal.
The Yankees acquired Eovaldi via trade prior to the 2015 season after he allowed the most hits in baseball with the Marlins in 2014. Eovaldi showed promise with the Yanks, finishing his first campaign in pinstripes with a 3.42 FIP over 27 starts. He made 21 starts in 2016 with a 4.97 FIP before his season was cut short in August due to injury.
Eovaldi joins a crowded DL for the Rays, who already have pitching prospects Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon recovering from Tommy John surgery. After trading Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, the Rays now have just three starting pitchers on their current depth chart, consisting of Chris Archer, Blake Snell and Jake Faria. With Opening Day coming up tomorrow, the Rays will be in a scramble to fill out their painfully thin starting rotation.