Boston Red Sox Report Cards: Eduardo Rodriguez

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Now that the 2015 season is in the books, the BoSox Injection staff will hand out their final report cards, grading the performances of each member of the Boston Red Sox roster based on their expectations entering the season.

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ . A-. . Starting Pitcher.

Rodriguez 2015 stats: 3.85 ERA, 21 G, 10 W, 6 L, 121.2 IP, 98 SO. 

Eduardo Rodriguez came to Boston during the 2014 deadline, when the Red Sox decided to trade Andrew Miller to the Balimore Orioles. After the Red Sox pitching rotation struggled earlier this year, the team decided to call-up Rodriguez and gave him an opportunity to pitch for a spot. His Major League debut was surrounded by amazing and historic stats that undoubtedly earned him a spot in the rotation. Even though Rodriguez is barely 22 years old, he pitched like he had been around the Major Leagues for quite some time.

It is unfair to measure Rodriguez success based on his numbers, since a 3.85 ERA might not be good enough for some pitchers. But E-Rod gave the Red Sox a solid pitcher when they needed it the most, without him being a proven ace. During his first three starts, he only gave up 8 eights and allowed one run while striking out 21. However, everything was not always great with Rodriguez. At times it seemed that things with E-Rod were going to be hot and cold, since the trend of pitching a gem or allowing more than five runs became more usual. After a few starts, he settled in and turned out to be an excellent young pitcher, something that the Red Sox hadn’t seen since maybe Jon Lester

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Most of Red Sox fans like to talk about Rodriguez like he is Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez, but the truth is that he is only a 22-year old kid who is making his way through the big leagues. However, the hype is understandable, here’s why:

  • Rodriguez and Wade Miley were the only Red Sox starters with more than 110 IP who didn’t make a trip to the DL or went back to AAA due to perfomance.
  • Roger Clemens, Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling and Lester were older or had the same age as E-Rod when they made their Major League debut. No one won 10 games or pitched more than 110 IP in their rookie season, only Rodriguez.
  • E-Rod  is the first pitcher since 1912 to begin his career with three straight starts of at least six innings pitched with one earned run and at least seven K’s.
  • Rodriguez is the first Red Sox rookie to end his first year with 10 or more wins since 1977.
  • He allowed one or zero runs in 11 starts, the most for a rookie in his first 21 games since 1900.

I’m not saying Rodriguez is the next Sandy Koufax, but he is young and has a lot of talent and potential. He shined when the Red Sox needed it the most and even though he is not that experienced, you can make a fair case for him being at least the #2 starter for next season.