Boston Red Sox Top-5 breakout performances of 2015

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Sep 28, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (52) delivers a pitch during the second inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Eduardo Rodriguez

2015 Stats: 10-6, 3.85 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 7.25 K/9

When the Red Sox acquired Rodriguez from the Baltimore Orioles at the 2014 trade deadline there were many scouts calling it the steal of the year. As great as Andrew Miller was as a setup man in Boston’s bullpen, a reliever heading for free agency wasn’t nearly as valuable to the franchise as a young pitching prospect that could become a part of their rotation for years to come.

It didn’t take long for Rodriguez to prove them right. After dominating at two levels of the minor league system since arriving in the Red Sox organization, Rodriguez earned a promotion to the majors. He made his debut on May 28, holding the Texas Rangers scoreless over 7 2/3 innings to notch his first career victory.

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Rodriguez led the AL with a 1.87 ERA in night games, which covered 13 if his 21 starts. His staggering day/night splits aren’t necessarily an indication that he can’t perform when the sun is out, as he did make several successful day starts. Rodriguez had 4 starts this season where he gave up at least 6 runs, all of which came during day games. Those starts skew his numbers in a small sample size. It’s not unusual for even the best young starters to get lit up once in a while as they adjust to the learning curve of playing in the big leagues.

With a 3.85 ERA, Rodriguez finishes the season second among Red Sox pitchers that made at least 5 starts this season. He has solidified his role in the rotation for next season and shown enough flashes of brilliance to suggest he may develop into the ace this staff is looking for.

Next: Jackie Bradley, Jr.