What Nathan Eovaldi's return means for the Texas Rangers?

The Texas Rangers are in the mix for the wild card spot and the AL West division. Yet, with Eovaldi returning, what impact could he have on the team's playoff chances?
Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers
Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

The Texas Rangers snapped their three-game losing streak Sunday, when outfielder Adolis Garica popped a 430 foot home run to help Texas avoid a sweep against the Minnesota Twins.

On Monday, the team opened up a three-game series against the Houston Astros. Texas came into the series tied with Houston for second in the AL West and one game behind the Seattle Mariners.

However, after Monday afternoon things changed when the Rangers lost to the Astros 13-6. Now, Texas falls to one game back behind Houston and Seattle for first place. They also remain 0.5 game ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for the final wild-card spot.

With 25 games left of the season, Texas could be looking for valuable options to help boost their roster.

One name that comes to mind is first-half sensation Nathan Eovaldi. The former leading starter has been out since July 18th after he suffered a right forearm strain.

It is now reported that Eovaldi will return to the mound Tuesday against Houston. He is now expected to pitch against the Astros' leading pitcher Framber Valdez.

With his return to the team, their plenty of reasons Rangers' fans should be excited.

For starters, Eovaldi was a CY Young contender before he got injured.

Eovaldi posted a 3-2 record while throwing 39 strikeouts and allowing one homer at the beginning of the season. In May, he went 4-0 and posted a 2.75 ERA. His best game that month came against the Oakland Athletics. Against the A's, he threw 113 pitches and 12 strikeouts and allowed three hits.

By June, he had posted a 9-3 record and was a leading candidate to start the 2023 MLB All-Star game. In the game, he was the AL's second starting pitcher. Eovaldi allowed zero earned runs while allowing two hits in one inning.

At the end of July, he had the fourth-best odds to win the CY Young award. Some justifications for the Rangers' pitcher winning the award include his AL-best 2.69 ERA.

In his last start for Texas, Eovaldi pitched six innings and allowed two hits. He mostly relied on fielding to shut down the Rays tht day, as he had seven groundballs and 11 flyouts.

Three weeks ago, he still had the fourth-best odds to win the CY Young Award. MLB.com gave him two first-place votes. Even after being out for a month, analysts still believed in his ability to make an immediate impact.

So, what can Texas expect from Eovaldi upon his return?

A pitcher who can command the plate and someone who uses a great deal of velocity. Eovaldi is a fastball pitcher known for weakening batters by forcing them to swing early. He can throw a combination of five pitches that consist of sliders, curveballs, and fastballs.

If he can come back with no set backs, then there is no doubt Texas will be playing come October.

In his past two bullpen sessions, Eovaldi pitched with minor setbacks. Last Tuesday, he threw a light session but experienced tightness in his side. On Friday, he threw for much longer.

Manager Bruce Bochy reiterated Sunday that Eovaldi could be on his way back with the team.
The timing of his return couldn't come soon enough, as Texas needs pitching depth to help their beleaguered bullpen.