Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez’s timetable for return remains unknown due to setback this week.
Prior to the start of the season, it was presumed that lefty Eduardo Rodriguez would be the Boston Red Sox No. 2 starter behind David Price. However, on February 27, 2016, Rodriguez dislocated his knee during spring training. At the time, the Sox told the media that Rodriguez would be healed by the time the season starts.
Opening Day came and went with Rodriguez still rehabbing his knee. Boston pushed back his return to the end of April. The first month of the season went by without any sign that Rodriguez would return soon. He was also supposed to take the mound in the big leagues before fellow starter Joe Kelly, who went down April 19 with a shoulder injury. However, Kelly is expected to return this weekend, while Rodriguez suffered a setback during his rehab assignment.
As of right now, there is no presumed timetable for Rodriguez’s return. As Comcast SportsNet New England reporter Sean McAdam pointed out, it now makes as to why Rodriguez’s velocity was down while rehabbing in Triple-A – his injury must be still affecting him both physically and mentally. Additionally, he was not pitching very well while in the minors. He racked up a 4.29 ERA with a 0-3 losing record over 21 innings pitched in Triple-A. With it now almost 12 weeks since the injury occurred, the likelihood of him returning this season seems low.
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The main concerns are the unknowns surrounding this injury. It was initially reported as a minor tweak of the knee. This does not seem so bad. But now that more than two months have passed since the injury occurred and he has recently suffered a setback, it seems as though the knee injury is much more severe than the Red Sox are letting on. Thus, leading the public to believe that Rodriguez will be out for a while longer.
Additionally, if it seems as though Rodriguez’s recovery will extend past July, the Red Sox may look toward the trade market for a short-term starting pitching solution to help the team make that push for the postseason. If they do in fact acquire a suitable No. 2 or No. 3 starter via a trade in July, the likelihood of Rodriguez returning this season would dip even lower since the Sox may then not need him as urgently as they do right now.
Lastly, the Red Sox are not going to risk pushing Rodriguez toward recovery faster than necessary. Despite the troubles they have had with the starting rotation this year, the Red Sox would rather have their No. 2 starter completely healthy come September, or the 2017 season, than have Rodriguez pitching at only 75 percent in June and possibly re-inuring himself in the process. If his road to recovery continues this trend of being longer than expected, it would not be surprising if Rodriguez misses this season entirely.
Since Rodriguez is so young – only 23 years old, it would be more beneficial for Boston to let him heal completely and preserve his talent. However, this may result in him missing the 2016 season. No matter how long it takes, we wish Rodriguez well on his road recovery.