After plenty of speculation, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi has been named the Red Sox’ Opening Day starter, manager Ron Roenicke officially announced Saturday afternoon.
Eovaldi, 30, is entering his second full season with Boston and will be making his first career Opening Day start this coming Friday against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
The Houston native had a fine showing at spring training in Fort Myers earlier in the year, and he’s picked up right where he left off in Florida by continuing to impress the Sox at Summer Camp in Boston.
It looked like left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was initially going to be the Red Sox’ Opening Day starter to begin the truncated 2020 season, but due to his testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, he will presumably begin the year on the 10-day injured list.
With Rodriguez on the shelf for the opening stages of the season, Boston’s starting rotation will likely look something like this to at least begin the 2020 campaign:
Opener/Maybe Zack Godley?
In regards to Friday’s match-up against Baltimore, Eovaldi will be opposite Orioles left-hander John Means, who went 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA over five starts and 28 innings pitched against Boston in 2019.
Eovaldi, meanwhile, surrendered eight earned runs over seven total innings pitched in two separate starts against the Orioles last season. The flame-throwing righty owns a career 4.57 ERA in 18 outings (10 starts) and 61 innings pitched at Fenway Park since coming over from the Rays in a July 2018 trade.
First pitch on Opening Day is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN.