Slowly, but surely, the Miami Marlins are returning to health. With each key player the Marlins receive back from the disabled list, the better they start to play.
The returns of Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison have helped jump start a struggling Marlins lineup. Morrison has picked up a few key hits in his return and Stanton has shown he can win a game by himself offensively, as he did last night.
The starting rotation is going to receive a major boost tonight, as right handed starter Nathan Eovaldi will be making his return to the Marlins rotation. Eovaldi was supposed to be the Marlins’ No. 2 starter, but right shoulder inflammation at the end of Spring Training sidelined him for 2 1/2 months.
To accommodate Eovaldi, the Marlins optioned lefty reliever Edgar Olmos to Double-A Jacksonville after their victory last night. No corresponding 40-man roster move will be needed, as the Marlins had an open spot after they placed Miguel Olivo on the restricted list. Kevin Slowey will make the transition to the bullpen to open a spot in the rotation.
Eovaldi pitched six strong innings for the Suns last Thursday in his final rehab start. He was forced to make an additional rehab start due to a rain out that prior Sunday in Birmingham.
Last Monday, I was able to have a quick interview with Eovaldi when he was rehabbing with the Suns.
I led off with a question about Eovaldi’s rain shortened start, he was a bit upset he did not get to finish the start, but he was encouraged by how he pitched. Nathan mentioned how he needed to work on his slider a bit.
Last season the Marlins acquired Eovaldi in a July trade that sent Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He said, “I was a little disappointed when I learned about the trade, coming up with a certain organization, you build relationships with people.” He went on to say, “But I realized this was the going to be a good move for me in the long term.
Nathan mentioned that he learned about the trade for his general manager at 11:30 PM. He said, “Mattlingly and Honeycutt came over to my room and told me I had been traded to the Marlins for Hanley.”
Despite Hanley’s falling status as a star player, Eovaldi said he was excited to be involved in a trade for a “big named” player. Eovaldi also mentioned “I was excited to be in Miami, with an opportunity with this organization.”
Nathan Eovaldi was a fun guy to interview and we at Marlin Maniac thank him for his time. All of here at the Maniac are excited to see how his first start of the season goes.