The Red Sox have placed right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and first baseman Eric Hosmer on the injured list, with Eovaldi heading to the 15-day IL (retroactive to August 19) and Hosmer to the 10-day IL (retro August 21). Right-hander Josh Winckowski and first baseman Franchy Cordero were called up from Triple-A in corresponding moves, and Winckowski will start tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
Eovaldi has been bothered by soreness in his neck and right shoulder, and an IL placement isn’t surprising given that he’d already been scratched from a start against the Pirates last Thursday and tonight’s start against Toronto. Officially, Eovaldi is now on the 15-day IL due to right shoulder inflammation, and he also missed a month due to back inflammation earlier this season.
Over the weekend, Eovaldi told reporters that his soreness was improving and that he hoped to avoid another IL trip altogether. This at least gives some hope that Eovaldi can return when first eligible, though he’ll now be out of action until September, leaving the Red Sox short a major arm at the front of their rotation.
Multiple injuries within the rotation allowed Winckowski to make 12 starts and pitch 60 2/3 innings in his first Major League season. The righty has only a 5.19 ERA, as his grounder-heavy, low-strikeout approach hasn’t yet found much consistent success against MLB batters.
Hosmer has been sidelined due to lower back inflammation. Since being acquired from the Padres at the trade deadline, Hosmer has hit .225/.311/.300 in his first 45 plate appearances with Boston, continuing the prolonged slump that has lasted for the veteran first baseman since he enjoyed a huge April. Cordero and Bobby Dalbec figure to get most of the first base time in Hosmer’s absence, with the versatile Christian Arroyo also perhaps factoring into the mix.
One name not yet involved is Triston Casas, as the Red Sox continued to hold off giving the top prospect his first taste of big league action. His development was slowed by a high ankle sprain that cost him two months of the season, but Casas has hit a solid (if not dominant) .258/.367/.458 over 270 PA with Triple-A Worcester. It seems likely that Casas will make his MLB debut before the season is out, though the question is when exactly the Sox will decide to take their first look at the 22-year-old.