Before I tell you why, I'm going to make two health-related assumptions. One, since so many other teams have eased injured starters back by using them in the bullpen, I assume it's a healthy way to do it. There's some discussion as to whether throwing 100 pitches one day then resting four is better than throwing 30 pitches every other day. I'm going to assume that everyone has decided that the bullpen is at least equal to starting when it comes to recovery. I'm also going to decide that closing is better, health wise, for him. I'd much prefer he just be another arm in the closer by committee. But I can imagine that telling him he just needs to warm up for the ninth as opposed to getting him up and warm quickly if there's a jam is better for everyone.
With that out of the way, this is a great idea. For a few reasons, really.
First, the bullpen could use an extra arm. He's an extra arm. That's pretty self-explanatory.
Second, I assume because he's recovering from injury he'll be limited in the number of innings he can pitch, at least for a while. So if he's going to be a starter not going deep into games, that going to hurt the bullpen even more. Hurting instead of helping is never a good idea. I know what you're thinking. Just have Wright ready to go whenever Eovaldi pitches to pick up the slack. Which would be fine. But, if you're going to plan on Wright pitching several innings during every Eovaldi start, why not just start Wright and use Eovaldi in more useful situations?
I also much prefer Eovaldi in the closer/relief ace role than I do Wright. So if it’s a choice of Wright starting with Eovaldi closing or Eovaldi starting with Wright closing, I'm going with option A every time.
Plus, Eovaldi has shown he can pitch out of the pen. Sure, he's never closed. But, he's pitched some pretty pressure-filled relief innings. Those turned out it OK. This isn't going to be a guy with some mental hitch preventing him from pitching in the bullpen. He'll adjust just fine.
So, this seems to fix a need, while not sacrificing anything. I'm not really sure why anyone would be against this move.
What do you think?