BOSTON — Nathan Eovaldi missed the final 3 1⁄2 weeks of last season with inflammation in his right elbow, and now there are ominous signs about the righthander’s availability for the remainder of this season.
Eovaldi, who left Wednesday night’s game with discomfort in his right elbow after pitching one inning, was evaluated by team physician Christopher Ahmad and underwent a dye contrast MRI.
Eovaldi requested a second opinion, which is his right as a player. That probably is an indication that the initial diagnosis and recommendation weren’t favorable.
“It’s concerning,” Joe Girardi said. “Until we have that second opinion, we’re not going to have any further information.”
Eovaldi, 26, is 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA this season.
Because of Eovaldi’s injury, Girardi had to use seven relievers in a 9-4 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday night. As a result, righthanders Luis Cessa and Ben Heller were called up and righthander Nick Goody and utilityman Rob Refsnyder were optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“We just need pitching,” Girardi said. “Now we have to come up with a starter for Sunday and Monday. We felt our bullpen was really taxed.”
Cessa is a starting option, as is Luis Severino, who was optioned Wednesday. By rule, an optioned player has to stay down 10 days, but if the Yankees put a player on the disabled list — which seems likely with Eovaldi — that will be waived.
Severino lasted 4 1/3 innings in Tuesday night’s loss and was sent down to work on his repertoire, his nonexistent changeup in particular.
“Sometimes,” Girardi said of possibility changing course with Severino, “there’s need.”
Heller, 25, was among the four prospects acquired by the Yankees from the Indians in the Andrew Miller deal July 31. He had appeared in three games with Scranton, allowing one hit in 3 1⁄3 innings. Between Double-A and Triple-A, the hard-throwing Heller is 3-2 with a 1.60 ERA in 46 games this season. He has struck out 52 in 45 innings, allowing 13 walks and only 24 hits.