The Boston Red Sox will be without a key member of their starting rotation for the next couple of weeks.
The team announced that right-hander Nathan Eovaldi has been placed on the 15-day injured list with lower back inflammation. Boston called up right-handed pitching prospect Kutter Crawford from Triple-A Worcester to take Eovaldi's spot on the roster for the time being.
In his last two starts, Eovaldi did not allow a run and combined for 13 strikeouts. However, it looked like he was laboring through both of them, throwing 93 pitches in six innings on June 3 against the Oakland A's and 84 pitches in five innings on June 8 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Eovaldi has made 12 starts this season and has a 4-2 record with a 3.16 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He leads the Red Sox with 68.1 innings pitched and 72 strikeouts, but he has also allowed a team-high 16 home runs, which is the second-highest total in the majors.
Eovaldi's absence is another blow to Boston's pitching depth. Garrett Whitlock was placed on the 15-day IL on Friday because of inflammation in his right hip. The 26-year-old righty has made nine starts with four appearances out of the bullpen, going 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 48.2 innings.
Entering Sunday's series finale against the Seattle Mariners, the Red Sox are fourth in the AL East with a 31-29 record. Eovaldi and the rest of Boston's pitching staff have done a commendable job so far, as the team's collective 3.67 ERA is tied for seventh in MLB this season.