Dodgers to promote Eovaldi for Saturday start

Dodgers to promote Eovaldi for Saturday start

Dodgers to promote Eovaldi for Saturday start
PHOENIX -- The Dodgers confirmed the promotion of right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, whose contract will be purchased from Double-A Chattanooga so he can make his Major League debut starting Saturday night's game against the D-backs.

Eovaldi will take the start of injured rookie Rubby De La Rosa, who will undergo Tommy John elbow reconstruction Tuesday. John Ely was optioned back to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room.

"We've been talking [internally] all year long at some point he'd come up," manager Don Mattingly said after Friday night's 7-4 win. "With Rubby going down, it gives him a chance to throw a few games and to see where we're at with him and see what he looks like."

Eovaldi, only 21, is 6-5 with a 2.62 ERA at Chattanooga. The Dodgers were able to select him in the 11th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft because he had Tommy John surgery in his junior year of high school and bought him out of a scholarship to Texas A&M for a $250,000 bonus.

Eovaldi will be the fourth pitcher this season promoted directly from Chattanooga, joining De La Rosa, Javy Guerra and Josh Lindblom.

Lindblom said that's a reflection on Lookouts pitching coach Chuck Crim, a former Major League pitcher.

"Chuck has given all of us the mind-set of getting Major League hitters out, not Double-A hitters," Lindblom said. "I know for me that's made the transition up here easier. I think that's why the team ERA down there leads the league. Give credit to Chuck for developing everybody there. As a pitcher, you know he's in your corner and he lives and dies with every pitch."

Lindblom said Eovaldi has impressive command of a fastball that varies from 93-99 mph, along with a hard slider and a splitter he uses as a changeup.

"He's super competitive and kind of a physical freak. A big, strong kid," Lindblom said. "In one game there, Aroldis Chapman finished one inning throwing a 100 mph fastball and Eovaldi started the next inning hitting 100, too."