Rays’ Nathan Eovaldi sidelined, headed to arthroscopic surgery on elbow

Nathan Eovaldi is likely headed toward arthroscopic elbow surgery. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Nathan Eovaldi is likely headed toward arthroscopic elbow surgery. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published March 28 2018
Updated March 28 2018

UPDATE, 2:16: The Rays have now confirmed our report and say Eovaldi will undergo surgery for loose bodies in his elbow.

The issue with Eovaldi is limited to the loose bodies; the ligament structure is considered sound so it's not like he's headed to another Tommy John surgery. Some estimates say he could be back pitching in 6-8 weeks. So maybe back in majors sometime in June?

The Rays will call up RHP Austin Pruitt to take Eovaldi's place, but may put him in bullpen as they – for now anyway – are listing TBD as starters for Saturday against Boston and Monday in New York.

Also, the Rays formally released RHP Daniel Hudson, paying him $4.5 million to not pitch for them after acquiring him and prospect INF Tristan Gray from Pittsburgh for OF Corey Dickerson.

To finalize their opening day roster, the Rays put Eovaldi and De Leon on the 10-day DL.

DEVELOPING: The Rays took another big blow to their pitching plans as projected No. 3 starter Nathan Eovaldi is sidelined with loose bodies in his right elbow and likely headed for arthroscopic surgery.

Eovaldi had looked good this spring in coming back from a second Tommy John elbow surgery and was projected to be the No. 3 starter in the planned four-man rotation, facing the Red Sox on Sunday.

The Rays now would seem likely to move RHP Jake Faria up to start that game and add a starter to take his place on Monday.  They already were planning a bullpen day for Saturday's third game.

Eovaldi, 28, last pitched on Monday in Lakeland and was clocked as high as 98 mph in the sixth inning, his last of what seemed to be a solid outing. It is not known when he started to have the new issue with the elbow.

It is possible Eovaldi could return this season depending on the  severity of the surgery.

The Rays this spring already saw top prospect RHP Brent Honeywell and once-promising prospect RHP Jose De Leon hurt their elbows and undergo Tommy John surgery.

Eovaldi was trying to join a small group of pitchers who made it back as starters after a second Tommy John surgery, as only 11 have total and only two, Chris Capuano and Tyler Chatwood, made more than 15 starts.

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