BOSTON — Rangers right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is now set to face his old team on Thursday night at Fenway Park.
Texas manager Bruce Bochy said the 33-year-old righty will pitch the final game of the series against the Boston Red Sox.
“I’m definitely excited,” Eovaldi said, standing on the field behind home plate about 90 minutes before Tuesday’s matchup against Boston.
“Obviously, I had this on my schedule and once I was able to kind of map everything out and found out we had the possibility of being able to start his one, I was super excited,” he said.
“I was excited just to be able to come back here alone, but to be able to pitch in front of the fans again would be awesome.”
Eovaldi spent 4½ seasons with the Red Sox, winning a World Series in 2018 after he came over in a midseason trade.
“I miss it here,” he said. ‘Everything we were able to do in ’18 and the personal achievements I was able to accomplish as well. I had such an amazing time here in my career, everything is near and dear to my heart.”
Eovaldi had hoped to re-sign with the Red Sox but didn’t exactly know why it didn’t happen. He signed a deal with the Rangers that could be worth $63 million over three seasons based on performance bonuses for innings as part of his $34 million, two-year contract.
“Baseball’s different, where you’re going in a different directions trying to pick up different pieces,” he said. “We kept them in the loop in everything we wanted to do and unfortunately it didn’t work out.”
He’s having a splendid year with the Rangers, posting a 10-3 record with a 2.64 ERA in 17 starts.
With him starting Thursday, that lines him up on full rest, which puts him in line as a possible starter for next Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Seattle.
Has he thought about it?
“I don’t necessarily think about it too much,” he said. “I try to take it one step at a time. My main focus right now is Thursday. After that start, I’ll be able to think about it more. It’s just an honor to be able to go out there and represent the Rangers at the All-Star Game.”
Rangers’ Nathan Eovaldi ‘excited’ to start vs. ex-team at Fenway