Spring Training '19

McAdam: The time is (finally) now for Nathan Eovaldi

(Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images,

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After all this time -- seven years in the big leagues, employed by five different organizations, two Tommy John surgeries ensured and a 29th birthday just celebrated -- there is still so much unknown about Nathan Eovaldi.

His teammates and manager rave about the quality of his stuff and boast that his athleticism is unmatched in the Red Sox clubhouse. The Red Sox believed in him enough to give him a four-year deal, the second-biggest free agent contract given to a pitcher this past winter. On Wednesday, his first two pitches thrown to an opposing batter since last October, registered 99 mph on the jetBlue Park radar gun.

And yet, despite his major league history and occasional flashes of brilliance, there is the distinct sense that this year, this 2019 season, will finally be his time.

Until now, it's been about promise and untapped potential.