Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez resumes throwing


Boston Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez has been cleared to resume throwing and is expected to be ready for the start of the season.

The Boston Red Sox received some good news on the injury front, as starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez has been cleared to resume throwing for the first time since tweaking his knee during fielding drills last weekend.

While he’s not ready to take the mound yet, Rodriguez is expected to throw from flat ground on Wednesday, which manager John Farrell called a positive sign. Some swelling remains in his injured knee, but it has greatly diminished to the point that the team is comfortable allowing him to take this next step in his recovery.

The Red Sox were optimistic from the start that this injury wouldn’t sideline Rodriguez for long, but they are being understandably cautious with their prized young lefty. While they believe he will be ready to start the season on time, the team has yet to set a timetable for his first batting practice session.

"“We think he’ll be ready to start the year,” Farrell told reporters gathered at the ballpark in Fort Myers. “I have to temper that with, he’ll be out there when he’s out of danger.”"

Positive results from his session this afternoon playing catch will go a long way toward determining when Rodriguez can get back on the mound, but they don’t want to push him. The 22-year old profiles as a future top of the rotation starter, so he’s too valuable to take any chances with this early in spring training.

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Rodriguez went 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA over 121.2 innings as a rookie last season. His potential is sky-high, but the Red Sox have the luxury of easing him into the middle of the rotation now that David Price is on board to anchor the staff. Rodriguez will likely begin the season as the No. 3 starter, slotting in behind Price and last year’s Opening Day starter, Clay Buchholz.

The Red Sox open the season on Monday April 4, which is followed by an off day before their series in Cleveland picks up again. This potentially allows the team to skip Rodriguez’s turn in the rotation in the unlikely event that he’s not ready to go when the season starts. By bumping Rodriguez to the back of the rotation they could get away with keeping the rest of the staff on regular rest while delaying Rodriguez’s season debut until April 13, giving him nearly an extra full week to prepare without necessitating a roster move that results with Rodriguez starting the season on the disable list.

Barring a setback, Rodriguez should be healthy in plenty of time to start the season. Even if the injury is well in the rear-view mirror by then, Rodriguez may need a bit of extra time to build up his arm strength if he misses time at the start of spring training. Skipping his first turn in the rotation would also help keep his workload in check as he enters his first full season in the big leagues aiming eclipse his career-high in innings pitched.

Next: Prediction: David Murphy will make Opening Day roster

The promising news out of camp increases the growing optimism that Rodriguez will be fine. Even if the start to his season is delayed, it’s looking like this injury isn’t a long term concern.