Nathan Eovaldi has suffered a setback in his recovery from elbow surgery, tweets Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. Eovaldi is experiencing bicep soreness that caused his latest bullpen session to be pushed back.
Eovaldi had been on track to make a mid-June return to the Boston rotation after being tagged with a four-to-six-week recovery timetable from his April 22 elbow surgery. Abraham had previously reported that Eovaldi might return as early as June 15th, though it now seems unlikely that he will be able to meet that target date. At this juncture, it’s unclear just how long the latest setback will keep Eovaldi out of action, but there is undoubtedly some cause for concern for the Red Sox, who have struggled to find a stable replacement for Eovaldi in his absence.
It is perhaps notable that it’s a bicep issue rather than an elbow complication, since the surgery was needed to remove loose bodies in Eovaldi’s elbow. Whether that is a good or bad sign is subject to speculation, but this latest development is certainly frustrating for the Red Sox, who invested heavily in Eovaldi, rewarding his late-season heroics with a four-year, $68MM contract last winter.
His club has yet to see any real return on that investment, as the right-hander has been able to make just four starts this season and has posted a 6.00 ERA in that time. To be sure, it’s premature to draw conclusions from just four games, and Eovaldi has plenty of time to make good on the lucrative contract he earned. Nonetheless, the third-place Red Sox could use the fireballing righty sooner than later, and his extensive injury history is not particularly inspiring at present.