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Nathan Eovaldi Will Likely Be Red Sox Opener Wednesday as Roller Coaster 2019 Continues

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 17:  Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees | Elsa/Getty Images

The Red Sox seem to have no idea what to do with Nathan Eovaldi and are content to try him in as many roles possible until one sticks.

According to manager Alex Cora, Boston's flamethrower will likely be used as an opener for Wednesday's game against the Cleveland Indians as he continues to be placed into different spots on the pitching staff.

When the Red Sox inked Eovaldi to a four-year, $68 million deal in the offseason, the plan was for him to serve as a strong arm in the back end of the rotation. But a 6.00 ERA through his first four starts and elbow injuries kept him on the sidelines for most of the season.

When he returned in July, the plan was to use him as a late-inning reliever. With a triple-digit fastball and a quality cutter, the idea made sense in theory, but it quickly collapsed in practice.

In nine relief appearances, Eovaldi's pitched to the tune of a 6.75 ERA, allowing at least one run in five of his outings.

Now it's back to the drawing board, and this time he'll be pitching in the opening role. It's hard to ignore the sense of irony that comes with using a guy who was signed to be a starter in the rotation as an opener.

Unless Eovaldi can find some stability there, the Red Sox will have pretty much exhausted their resources with him. If this fails, they'll be left wondering if it was really worth shelling out eight figures for him.