Nathan Eovaldo was scratched from Tuesday’s rehab start due to a minor setback, suffering what has been called a right rib muscle strain.
Eovaldi was slated to join the rotation at the beginning of the season, however, he underwent surgery to remove loose bodies in his elbow just before Opening Day. The right-hander seemed destined to miss the first half of the season, but he quickly recuperated from the operation and had been doing well in his rehab assignment, pushing his return date up to the end of May.
The start on Tuesday would have been his third, but he now will throw a bullpen session instead. Eovaldi’s next start has yet to be rescheduled, and there is no official word from the team regarding his new recovery timeline.
He came up with right-side soreness, Rays manager Kevin Cash said. Nothing alarming. But we’re going to be smart with it. Our timetable, which we thought was 22nd or 24th of May, and hopefully the bullpen goes well and we’ll slot him right back in the (Durham) rotation (to finish his rehab).
Rays to recall Anthony Banda and Hunter Wood
▪RH Hunter Wood has been recalled from Triple-A.
▪LH Anthony Banda has been placed on the taxi squad today and will be activated/start tomorrow.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 14, 2018
After being called up as the 26th man before Saturday’s doubleheader, then returned to Triple-A Durham on Sunday, the Rays formerly transferred southpaw Anthony Banda to the taxi squad. The team also recalled right-hander Hunter Wood from the Bulls.
Banda will get the start in the second game of the series with the Royals Tuesday night.
It’s exciting, I finally get to get on the mound again. I’m excited, knowing the plan and the schedule is always good, Banda said. Especially for a routine.
Even though he did not see any action on Saturday, Cash seemed thoroughly excited to welcome Banda back to the fold just three short days later.
A lot of upside, Cash said of Banda. We’re really happy with his progression at this point. It’s like I told him when we optioned him out at Spring Training: You get to know a guy. You hear about acquiring a guy. You don’t know what you’re getting. But we were more excited about him when he left Spring Training than when we acquired him. That’s a pretty strong testament to what he showed.
Banda is 4-2 with a 3.50 ERA in seven starts for Durham this season, with 44 strikeouts to 16 walks — a 2.59 K/BB.
Tampa Bay will have to make a roster decision on Tuesday when Banda is activated.
We’ve optioned RH Andrew Kittredge to Triple-A @DurhamBulls. A corresponding move will be announced tomorrow.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 13, 2018
Wood is the corresponding move after the Rays optioned Andrew Kittredge back to Durham following Sunday’s 17-1 loss to the Orioles.
Wood is 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA in 10 appearances (one start) for the Bulls this season, with an impressive 5-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. This will be Wood’s second stint with Tampa Bay this season — he appeared in one game on April 17th and gave up one run on four hits and a walk over 2-1/3 innings against Texas.