Red Sox (obviously) to keep Eduardo Rodriguez in rotation


It should go without saying, but Eduardo Rodriguez is going to stick around for a little while.

Initially promoted a week ago for a spot start, designed to give the rest of the rotation a break given the team’s recent stretch without a day off, Rodriguez has dominated in his first two major league starts. In fact, “dominated” would almost be an understatement for how well Rodriguez has performed. Rodriguez is the only pitcher in modern baseball history to start his MLB career with a pair of starts in which he’s gone seven innings while allowing three hits and one or fewer runs.

With the Red Sox scrambling for hope of contention at this point in the season, Rodriguez is exactly the spark that the team needs. His combination of nasty stuff, excellent command, and poise beyond his years already have fans, players, and coaches alike making some lofty comparisons.

The most lofty of these comparisons comes in Venezuelan countryman Johan Santana. And though it’s impossible to compare a 22-year old rookie with two MLB starts under his belt to arguably the best picher of the new millennium, Rodriguez has the tools to be an elite starter all the same. Some more realistic comparisons, pertaining to the performance other highly-touted southpaw prospects in their first tastes of the majors, bring out some impressive names still.

It’s completely unreasonable to expect that Rodriguez will continue his remarkable pace. Currently sporting a 0.61 ERA and a minuscule .102 opponents’ batting average, those numbers will creep back into the realm of reality before long. Even if Rodriguez doesn’t maintain an ERA under 1.00, though, peripherals still suggest he can be a frontline starter, maybe even as soon as this season. Through his first two starts, E-Rod has struck out 8.6 batters per nine while walking just 2.5, with his FIP of 2.91 and xFIP of 3.08 indicating that he can be a very effective pitcher even once his .118 BABIP and 100% strand rate stabilize.

It’s important to remember that Rodriguez is just a rookie at just 22 years of age. He’s going to take his lumps; everyone does. However, these first two starts indicate just how good he has a chance to become and it looks like he’ll get the rest of the season to prove that he can maintain MLB success. And for a team desperately seeking a spark, E-Rod could supply some needed hope and excitement for the Red Sox.