FORT MYERS, Fla. — If his first two spring training starts are any indication, Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi will bounce back in a big way in 2020.

Eovaldi, who struggled to a 5.99 ERA in just 67 2/3 innings last season, has dominated so far in Grapefruit League play. After holding the Twins scoreless for two innings in his debut on Feb. 24, he mowed down the Braves for three innings Sunday, allowing one hit and striking out four – including big-leaguers Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte

In five spring innings, Eovaldi has allowed three hits while striking out eight batters and walking none. His fastball reached 100 mph against Minnesota, easily blowing away hitters who are at the early stages of their spring progressions.

Eovaldi has stood out as an early star of camp for the Sox.

“Really good again. Locating his fastball well,” said interim manager Ron Roenicke. “Threw some great splitters and curveballs. When he’s got his command and has his pitches working, he’s very difficult.”

Eovaldi made just two spring starts for the Sox last year, posting a 3.86 ERA while allowing two homers and walking two batters in seven innings. He lasted just four regular season starts before needing surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow and was then shut down for more than three months.

Eovaldi came back as a reliever and made seven appearances out of the bullpen before rejoining the rotation in mid-August.

The long offseason appears to be benefiting Eovaldi so far in spring training.

“I’ve never had an issue with throwing hard. I feel like in spring training, it has always been there for me,” Eovaldi said. “Unfortunately, it has just been the command of my off-speed pitches. Right now, I feel like my command is doing pretty well for both of those, the fastball and the off-speed pitches.”

THE RED SOX will have to wait at least another week before learning the findings of Major League Baseball investigation into whether or not Boston stole signs during the 2018 season. According to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, the can is continuing to be kicked further down the road. Citing sources he wrote:

“MLB is not expected to announce findings from its illegal sign-stealing investigation into the 2018 Red Sox this week, but the plan is before the regular season. Word is that the scheme was not as systemic or widespread as that of the Astros, thus, the penalties are not expected to be as severe.”

RED SOX 11, TIGERS 11: Phillips Valdez gave up five runs in the ninth inning and Detroit scored six times to tie Boston in a spring training game in Lakeland, Florida.

Ryan Weber started for the Red Sox, allowing one unearned run in three innings. He gave up one hit, struck out six and didn’t walk anyone.

Marcus Wilson, Bobby Dalbec and Connor Wong each homered for Boston.

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