Red Sox’ Nathan Eovaldi evaluates his first start of the spring: ‘I was excited and rushing through everything, so it was not as crisp as I would like it’

For the first time in nearly a year, Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi threw in front of fans on Sunday in the team’s Grapefruit League opener against the Twins.

Pitching in front of approximately 2,200 spectators at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, the 31-year-old was able to get some adrenaline flowing even before he took the mound in the first inning.

“Driving into the ballpark, there’s a lot of cars waiting to get in,’ Eovaldi said via Zoom. “They say 24% [capacity], you don’t know what that’s going to look like. Everybody’s spaced out, it looks like a full ballpark. So it’s exciting having the fans in there. They’re heckling a little bit. That’s part of the game, you miss it. Juices were definitely flowing. You’re facing another team in the batter’s box, you’re not facing your guys anymore, and you got the fans cheering. So it’s baseball again. It feels good.”

Eovaldi surrendered two earned runs on two hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with two strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings of work on Sunday. He needed 38 pitches to record those four outs, 23 of which went for strikes.

“I was just excited,” said Eovaldi when asked to evaluate his performance. “I felt like I was rushing through my delivery. For the most part, my offspeed wasn’t very good. I felt like my fastball was good. The cutter I felt like was the best pitch today, I felt like I was locating it pretty well. Curveball was good. The slider and splitter not so much.”

Per Baseball Savant, the Houston native threw 18 four-seam fastballs, 10 cutters, five splitters, and five curveballs. It’s likely some of the sliders he threw registered as cutters.

Out of those 38 pitches thrown, Eovaldi eclipsed 97 mph 14 times, 98 mph nine times, and 99 mph four times. All in all, he topped out at 99.5 mph with his heater and averaged 97.9 mph on the radar gun with it.

“I’ve been feeling good all camp,” said the fireballer. “I feel like the velocity’s been there earlier on in the live BPs. In the offseason I have access to to one of the Rapsodos (performance measurement devices) as well, so I know the velocity’s been there. It’s usually not one of the things I have to worry about when getting ready.”

While velocity was not an area of concern for Eovaldi on Sunday, he did attribute some of his early struggles to how quickly he was moving on the mound, or his tempo, which is something he feels he can improve upon for his next outing.

“We’ll get back to the grind,” he said. “I think I got six days in between now, so I’ll be facing the Twins again at home. Body’s feeling good. I got the work in that I wanted to get. I got to work out of the stretch, deep into counts, all that. So overall, it’s obviously not what I wanted results-wise, but I got the work in and that was the main thing and I feel good.”

As he said himself, Eovaldi’s next start will come against the Twins at JetBlue Park next Saturday since the Red Sox are utilizing a six-man rotation to begin the spring.

“My arm feels good. As long as my tempo is there, the pitches are consistent,” Eovaldi stated. “I had times today where my tempo was there. It’s just the rhythm of my mechanics. It allows me to get out front and execute the pitches well. Today, I was excited and rushing through everything, so it was not as crisp as I would like it.”

Eovaldi, who turned 31 earlier this month, is on track to open the 2021 season — his third full campaign with the Sox — as the club’s No. 2 starter.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

Bobby Dalbec, Michael Chavis, and Jeter Downs all homer in Red Sox’ Grapefruit League opener against Twins

The Red Sox opened Grapefruit League play on Sunday by falling to the Twins by a final score of 7-6 in seven innings at Hammond Stadium.

Spring training rules were altered this year to allow for more flexibility, hence the reason why this game was limited to seven frames.

Nathan Eovaldi, as expected, made his first start of the spring for the Sox in this one.

Working 1 1/3 innings, the veteran right-hander yielded two runs — both earned — on two hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with a pair of strikeouts on the afternoon before reaching his pitch limit in the bottom half of the second.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 38 (23 strikes), Eovaldi turned to his four-seam fastball approximately 18 times and averaged 98 mph while topping out at 99.5 mph with the pitch.

The 31-year-old hurler will likely make his next start of the spring against the Twins once again on Saturday, as Boston is going with a six-man rotation for the time being.

In relief of Eovaldi, non-roster invitee Caleb Simpson came on with one out and two runners on in the second, and he struggled mightily, as evidenced by the fact that he failed to record an out while allowing five runs — three charged to him, two to Eovaldi — before the bottom half of the inning came to an end.

From there, right-hander Eduard Bazardo, who was added to Boston’s 40-man roster in November, needed just eight pitches to work a perfect third inning, while Seth Blair and Stephen Gonsalves — two hurlers who spent a good chunk of time at the Sox’ alternate site last season — combined to toss a pair of scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth, respectively.

Former Oakland A’s righty Daniel Gossett then came on in the middle of the sixth of what was a 6-5 game in favor of Boston, but the 28-year-old was ultimately charged with both the loss and blown save after two Minnesota runs crossed the plate on his watch thanks to a Jonathan Arauz throwing error and sacrifice fly off the bat of Kyle Garlick.

And in the bottom of the seventh, which did not need to be played, right-hander Kaleb Ort, who the Sox selected from the Yankees in the minor-league phase of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, stranded one base runner by inducing an inning-ending 4-3 double play to wrap up his side’s first exhibition game of the year.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox’ first starting lineup of the spring featured the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Jarren Duran, Hunter Renfroe, Rafael Devers, Christian Vazquez, Bobby Dalbec, Christian Arroyo, Michael Chavis, and Michael Gettys.

Dalbec got the scoring started in the second, when with two outs and the bases empty, the 25-year-old clubbed an 89 mph fastball at the top of the zone from Twins starter Devin Smeltzer and deposited it deep into right-center field for his first home run of the spring.

Two more of Boston’s young infielders picked up the slack scoring-wise later on in the fifth, with Michael Chavis leading the inning off by taking Tyler Duffey deep to right on the very first pitch he saw — a 78 mph curveball at the knees — and Jeter Downs following moments later with a two-run blast to right-center to score himself as well as Gettys.

An inning later, Downs struck once again, this time bringing in Josh Ockimey with two outs on a groundball RBI single back up the middle off of righty Cody Stashak.

Yairo Munoz, who performed well in limited action with the Red Sox last season, followed by plating Arauz on another RBI single. Just like that, Boston had themselves a 6-5 lead.

Six runs is all the Sox offense could manage though, as the Twins tacked on two more of their own in their half of the sixth and 7-6 would go on to be Sunday’s final score.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll take on the Braves in their home opener at JetBlue Park to kick off the month of March on Monday afternoon.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will make his 2021 debut for Boston and he will be opposed by fellow righty Huascar Ynoa, who is currently regarded by Baseball America as the 12th-ranked prospect in Atlanta’s farm system.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time. The game will be broadcast on NESN.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Newest Red Sox utilityman Marwin González takes pride in his versatility, carries up to five different gloves with him

When Marwin Gonzalez made his major-league debut for the Astros in 2012, the utility role was not looked on as fondly as it is today.

Back then, instead of regularly deploying players who could play a number of positions, clubs would typically start the same nine guys at their respective positions while more versatile options were left on the bench.

Now, Major League Baseball has become a hotbed for players capable of playing multiple positions around the infield and outfield.

The Red Sox put this practice to the test this offseason by signing the likes of Gonzalez and Enrique Hernandez — both of whom have seen time at at least seven defensive positions over the course of their careers — to one- and two-year deals, respectively.

“I think the game has changed a lot by altering things and carrying guys like us that can play multiple positions,” Gonzalez said when speaking with NESN’s Tom Caron on Friday. “I’m happy. Because when I got to the big-leagues, it was basically the nine starters were the guys playing almost 162 games, so the guys on the bench didn’t have a chance.

“I’m happy that everything changed and it kind of opened the doors for guys like Kiké and I to do what we do,” he added. “You see pretty much everybody trying to do the same and carrying guys that can play all over the place. I think for a manager, it kind of makes it easy because they can carry an extra pitcher, and it’s better for the whole team.”

Red Sox manager Alex Cora alluded to this on Thursday when discussing the roster flexibility that Gonzalez and Hernandez can provide the club this coming season.

“To have Enrique and Marwin on the same team, just being creative. People talk about creative teams and how cool it is. Well, we have a cool team, too,” said Cora. “They’re going to help us a lot. They know how to play defense. Whenever they play, you’re not worried about them making the right decisions, throwing to the right base, being in line of the cut-off man. Both of them, they’re really solid. We’re going to ask them to do a few things in the clubhouse, too.”

Gonzalez, who turns 32 in March, is coming off a two-year tenure with the Twins in which he slashed .248/.311/.387 to go along with 20 home runs and 77 RBI over 167 total games played between 2019 and 2020.

The switch-hitting Venezuelan also played 35 games at first base, 23 games at second base, 63 games at third base, one game at shortstop, 18 games in left field, and 52 games in right field in his time in Minnesota. So it goes without saying that he wears many different hats, or in this case, gloves.

“I have four game gloves and I practice with another one — I don’t like to practice with my game gloves,” said Gonzalez. “I carry five gloves, but in my locker I have like seven to nine gloves. I get new gloves and try to get them ready for the next year or mid-season, something like that.

“Sometimes, I have to ask one of my teammates if he can carry one or two gloves because there’s not enough room in my bag,” he continued. “That’s kind of a hard thing for me to do. When we’re traveling, it’s a pain for me to pack my bags and put everything in my bags.”

(Picture of Marwin Gonzalez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox make Marwin González signing official, designate Marcus Walden for assignment

The Red Sox have officially signed veteran utilityman Marwin Gonzalez to a one-year contract for the 2021 season, the team announced Wednesday evening.

In order to make room for Gonzalez on their 40-man roster, Boston also designated right-hander Marcus Walden for assignment.

Gonzalez and the Red Sox originally agreed to a one-year pact for 2021 a little less than two weeks ago.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Gonzalez — who turns 32 in March — will earn a base salary of $3 million this year with the chance to earn up to $1.1 million in additional performance bonuses. There is no player, club, or dual option for a potential second year.

The Venezuelan switch-hitter had spent the last two seasons with the Twins and put up a .248/.311/.387 slash line to go along with 20 home runs and 77 RBI over 167 total games played. He also saw time at every defensive position besides center field in his time with Minnesota.

That versatile aspect of Gonzalez’s game will surely carry over to Boston as well, as the 6-foot-1, 205 pounder could line up to play both corner outfield spots while also serving as a left-handed complement to the right-handed hitting Bobby Dalbec at first base when needed.

With the additions of Gonzalez and Enrique Hernandez, both of whom are already familiar with Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the Sox have put themselves in a position where they are set up to a bevy of lineup combinations and defensive platoons depending on who they are going up against on a given day.

As for Walden, the move to designate him for assignment comes more than four years after he initially signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox in December 2016.

Since then, the 32-year-old reliever has proven to be effective at the major-league level for an extended period of time.

Across 70 appearances out of the Boston bullpen in 2019, Walden posted a solid 3.81 ERA and 3.69 FIP over 78 total innings of work.

Coming off that successful campaign — his first full one in the majors — the California native figured to play an important role for the Sox in 2020, but he floundered to the tune of a disastrous 9.45 ERA and 8.59 FIP over 15 outings spanning 13 1/3 innings pitched in two separate big-league stints last year.

Even with a poor, truncated 2020 coming on the heels of a successful, full 2019, Walden’s leash appeared to be short as he is now without a 40-man roster spot for the time being.

The Sox will have seven days to either trade Walden, release him, or sneak him through waivers unless he is claimed by another club first.

With this transaction made, Boston’s 40-man roster remains at full capacity, which means more moves will need to be made in order to accommodate the likes of catcher Kevin Plawecki and outfielder Franchy Cordero, both of whom remain on the team’s COVID-19 related injured list.

(Picture of Marwin Gonzalez: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Red Sox reach agreement with veteran utilityman Marwin González on one-year deal, per report

The Red Sox and veteran utilityman Marwin Gonzalez have agreed to a one-year contract, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

Per Feinsand, Gonzalez will earn $3 million in 2021 with the chance to earn a little over $1 million more in incentives.

Gonzalez, who turns 33 next month, is coming off a 2020 season with the Twins in which he posted a .211/.286/.320 slash to go along with five home runs and 22 RBI over 53 games (199 plate appearances).

The Red Sox were known to be in the market for a left-handed bat that could potentially complement the right-handed hitting Bobby Dalbec at first base, and Gonzalez, a switch-hitter certainly fits that mold.

The Venezuelan has proven to be quite versatile over the course of his nine year major-league career with the Astros and Twins, as he has seen time at every defensive position minus pitcher and catcher.

Most recently, as a member of the Twins from 2019-2020, Gonzalez appeared in 35 games at first base, 22 at second base, 63 at third base, one at shortstop, 18 in left field, zero in center field, and 52 in right field. He also served as a designated hitter, pinch-hitter, and pinch-runner in his time with Minnesota.

Given the fact he spent the first seven years of his big-league career — including 2017 — in Houston, Gonzalez is obviously already familiar with Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who served as the ‘Stros’ bench coach that year.

The reported addition of Gonzalez comes less than two weeks after the Enrique Hernandez signing was made official, so Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. appear intent on having as versatile team as possible.

As currently constructed, Boston’s 40-man roster is at full capacity, so the club will need to make a flurry of moves in order to officially add the likes of Gonzalez, Hirokazu Sawamura, and Martin Perez.

Also, this is not Gonzalez’s first time with the Red Sox. He spent less than one full day with the team back in December 2011 after being selected from the Cubs in the major-league phase of that year’s Rule 5 Draft before promptly getting traded to the Astros for Marco Duarte.

(Picture of Marwin Gonzalez: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Red Sox ‘are in’ on free-agent utilityman Marwin Gonzalez, per report

In their pursuit to upgrade their depth at second base, the Red Sox are reportedly “in” on free-agent utilityman Marwin Gonzalez, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Per Cotillo, Gonzalez is “one of a few versatile options” the Sox are looking at to address the apparent hole at second base.

Gonzalez, who turns 32 in March, has spent the last two seasons with the Twins, most recently posting a slash line of .211/.286/.320 to go along with five home runs and 22 RBI across 53 games and 199 plate appearances for Minnesota in 2020.

If you’re not a fan of evaluating players based off a shortened season, then going back to 2019, Gonzalez was okay in his debut season in the Twin Cities.

Per FanGraphs, the Venezuelan put up an OPS of .736 as well as a 93 wRC+ while clubbing 15 homers and driving in 55 runs over 114 games played.

Prior to signing with the Twins in February 2019, Gonzalez had established himself as a legitimate utility player as a member of the Astros from 2012 until 2018, even finishing 19th in American League MVP voting the same year Houston won the World Series (2017).

Given his past with the Astros, Gonzalez obviously established a relationship with Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who served as the ‘Stros’ bench coach under A.J. Hinch in 2017.

That being said, it’s extremely likely that the switch-hitting veteran used the Astros’ illegal sign-stealing system to his full advantage when he was with the club.

In the two seasons leading up to his free agency during the winter of 2018/2019, Gonzalez collected 39 home runs and 59 doubles over 279 total games and 1,067 plate appearances with Houston.

Since that time, all of which was spent with the Twins, Gonzalez has hit just 20 home runs and 23 doubles over 167 games and 662 plate appearances dating back to the start of the 2019 campaign.

Even with that disparity in mind, it’s unlikely that the Sox would shy away from signing a former Astro — like Gonzalez — if they believe he provides what they are in search for. That being, someone who can play second base on an everyday basis while also being more than capable of playing all around the infield and even both corner outfield spots if necessary.

If chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. were to lock down Gonzalez to what would likely be a short-term deal, it would be somewhat of a homecoming for the former international free agent.

That being the case because going back to 2011, Boston selected Gonzalez from the Cubs in the major-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, though they dealt him to Houston in exchange for minor-league right-hander Marco Duarte that same day.

With Gonzalez now added to the mix, here is a full list of free-agent second base options the Red Sox “have been in touch with,” according to Cotillo.

As Cotillo notes in the above tweet, D.J LeMahieu signing with the Yankees on Friday could get this particular market moving relatively soon. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Photo of Marwin Gonzalez: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Potential Red Sox target Jake Odorizzi seeking anywhere from $36 million to $42 million in free agency, per report

On Tuesday, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported that the Red Sox have ‘serious interest’ in signing free-agent right-hander Jake Odorizzi.

On Wednesday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported in his latest notes column that the 30-year-old’s price range has come into focus now that interest may be heating up.

“One club in contact with free-agent right-hander Jake Odorizzi says the pitcher expects to land a three-year contract in the $36 million to $42 million range,” Rosenthal wrote. “Such a deal might not be out of reach: Starting pitchers are faring well on the open market, and the Blue Jays offered fellow righty Kevin Gausman three years in the $40 million range before he accepted the Giants’ one-year $18.6 million qualifying offer.”

Odorizzi, a veteran of nine major-league seasons between the Royals, Rays, and most recently the Twins, is coming off a 2020 campaign in which he was limited to just four starts and 13 2/3 innings of work due to multiple stints on the injured list.

The former first-round draft pick was once acquired by Tampa Bay from Kansas City at a time when Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom played an integral role within the Rays’ front office in 2012, so there certainly is a connection there.

In addition to said connection, Odorizzi does not come with a qualifying offer attached to him, as was the case with Gausman before he returned to the Giants like Rosenthal pointed out.

This is the case because the one-time All-Star has already had the qualifying offer extended to him by the Twins last offseason, and players can only be offered a qualifying offer just once in their careers.

Having said that, it was somewhat surprising to read that Odorizzi is in pursuit of a multi-year deal considering how little he pitched in 2020. Then again, this winter’s class of free-agent starting pitchers is rather weak outside of Trevor Bauer and Tomoyuki Sugano.

While it’s not exactly known if the Red Sox are interested in acquiring the services of Bauer, they are definitely interested in the 31-year-old Sugano, who has until Thursday — the final day of his posting period — to sign with a major-league club.

(Photo of Jake Odorizzi: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Red Sox showing ‘serious interest’ in free-agent right-hander Jake Odorizzi, per report

The Red Sox have serious interest in free-agent right-hander Jake Odorizzi, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

Odorizzi, who turns 31 in March, is coming off a 2020 campaign in which he posted a 6.59 ERA and 6.12 FIP, though he only made four starts and pitched 13 2/3 innings on account of three separate injured list stints.

The first of those three stints lasted from July 23 until August 8 due to a right intercostal strain, the second lasted from August 22 until September 16 due to a chest contusion, and the third lasted from September 18 through the end of the season due to a right middle finger blister.

Prior to this past season, Odorizzi earned himself his first career All-Star nod in 2019 thanks in part to putting up a 3.50 ERA and .671 OPS against over 30 starts and 159 innings of work. Minnesota went 21-9 in games started by the Illinois native.

As mentioned by Feinsand in the tweet above, Odorizzi first jumped on to the scene with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013 after being part of the trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals the previous winter.

Having said that, it’s likely that Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom played a role in the Rays acquiring Odorizzi, among others, when he was still working under Andrew Friedman in Tampa Bay.

In his five seasons with the Rays (2013-2017), Odorizzi made 127 appearances (124 starts) spanning 698 total frames pitched.

Over that rather large sample size, the former first-round draft pick of the Royals posted an ERA of 3.82, a SIERA of 4.13, and an xFIP of 4.33. He was traded by Tampa Bay to Minnesota in exchange for minor-league infielder Jermaine Palacios shortly before the start of the 2018 season.

Perhaps reuniting with a familiar face in Bloom would benefit Odorizzi as he looks to bounce back in 2021 and re-establish his value headed into next winter.

We will have to wait and see on that, but it is worth mentioning that the Red Sox were able to sign another former Rays hurler in Matt Andriese earlier last month partly due to the fact that he had already established a relationship with Bloom when the two were in Tampa Bay.

(Top picture of Odorizzi: Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

Red Sox manager Alex Cora hints at team’s interest in free-agent outfielder Eddie Rosario

The Minnesota Twins non-tendered Eddie Rosario last Wednesday. It took all of a day for the free-agent outfielder to be linked to the Red Sox.

Rosario, 29, hails from Puerto Rico and is close with Sox manager Alex Cora, who served as Rosario’s general manager for Team Puerto Rico during the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Because he was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn approximately $9.6 million in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility in 2021, Rosario was ultimately let go by Minnesota, thus making him a free agent earlier than expected.

Having finished in the top-20 in American League MVP voting each of the last two seasons, Rosario being cut came as somewhat of a surprise. The former fourth-round draft pick had just put the finishing touches on a 2020 campaign in which he slashed .257/.316/.476 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI over 57 games and 231 plate appearances. That’s good for an OPS+ of 115 and a wRC+ of 110.

Cora was one of those in the game who were caught off guard by the Twins’ decision to let Rosario go. He said as much when speaking to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia earlier Monday afternoon.

“As a friend, I was surprised by what happened to Eddie last week,” Cora said (in Spanish). “As a baseball man, we will see what happens in the future. Eddie is a complete player, who still has room to keep improving. Everyone knows how talented he is.”

Talented as the left-handed hitting Rosario may be, his fit within the Red Sox’ roster does not exactly line up at the moment. That is the case because Boston already has two left-handed hitting outfielders — Andrew Benintendi and Alex Verdugo — on their major-league roster.

On top of that, Rosario is best suited for a corner outfield position defensively, more so left field if he were to regularly play at Fenway Park, meaning one of Benintendi or Verdugo would have to make a move to center or be traded in order to accommodate Rosario.

So, as of now, the odds of a Rosario-Cora reunion of sorts happening seems low, especially when you consider what the Sox should be prioritizing this offseason: starting pitching and bullpen help.

That said, if the opportunity arises and there is a way Rosario would fit on this roster, it would not be surprising to see Boston explore that avenue at some point this winter.

“What we are going to do for everything we do is be smart and opportunistic,” Cora said of his team’s offseason approach. “And this market is perfect for being opportunistic.”

Could Red Sox Welcome Soon-To-Be Free Agent Stephen Gonsalves Back in 2021?

Excluding position players, 27 different pitchers took the mound for the Red Sox in 2020. Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves was not one of them.

The 26-year-old was claimed off waivers by Boston from the Mets early in the season and was subsequently optioned to the club’s alternate training site in Pawtucket, where he remained on the Sox’ 40-man roster up until August 19.

At that point, Gonsalves was designated for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for veteran right-hander Andrew Triggs.

A week went by and Gonsalves went unclaimed, which resulted in his being outrighted to Pawtucket.

As he spent the final few weeks of his 2020 campaign working out at McCoy Stadium, the San Diego native was actually very impressive, which is important when you consider the fact that he will become a minor-league free agent this winter. Worcester Red Sox pitching coach Paul Abbott made that much clear when speaking with reporters via Zoom last week.

“Gonsalves is a guy that can make an impact next year if we bring him back,” Abbott said. “I know he’s a minor-league free agent. His velo went from 89-90 mph — and he already had a highly rated fastball that had some carry — the velo jumped up to 94-96 mph. He got better as we went along and I know he was close to getting an opportunity because they brought him up there.”

A former fourth-round pick of the Twins out of high school in 2013, Gonsalves only has seven major-league outings under his belt. In those seven appearances, four of which were starts, towards the end of the 2018 season, the one-time University of San Diego commit posted a 6.57 ERA and .822 OPS against over 24 2/3 innings pitched.

At the start of the 2019 campaign, Gonsalves suffered an elbow strain in April and a stress reaction to that same elbow in May, which resulted in the former top prospect accruing just 13 innings of work across three minor-league levels last year prior to ultimately getting designated by Minnesota in November.

Since joining the Red Sox organization over the summer, Gonsalves obviously has not had the chance to showcase himself in any real, meaningful games. But, as Abbott mentioned, an uptick in the 6-foot-5 southpaw’s fastball velocity could mesh well with his other three pitches — changeup, slider, curveball — moving forward.

With that being said, in addition to how highly Abbott spoke of him, Gonsalves may be someone the Red Sox look to bring back early on in free agency this offseason.

Assuming he is brought back by chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. on a minor-league deal, Gonsalves could prove to be an interesting hurler to monitor during spring training next year given the fact he has experience as both a starter and reliever.