Boston Red Sox: Should Eduardo Rodriguez pitch in the WBC?
By Tyler Mason
With Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez being injury prone, is it a smart idea for him to pitch in the World Baseball Classic next March?
In three months, the 4th annual World Baseball Classic will be beginning. Every four years, some of the best baseball players around the world play for their home country and try to bring a championship home.
Kind of like the Olympics, this tournament brings a playoff-type atmosphere for the players as they want to win bragging rights as the best baseball team in the world.
This year, you have Boston Red Sox players Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic), Xander Bogaerts (Netherlands), and Eduardo Rodriguez (Venezuela) deciding to play for their home country. While this is all great to see these players competing against some the best in the world, is it the smartest idea for Rodriguez to participate?
With Rodriguez, this will be the first time where he will be representing his country in this tournament. But with his recent past of getting injured, should the Red Sox be worried about Rodriguez going 110% off the mound that early into the season?
For those who don’t know, Major League coaches do not have the power to tell their players that they can’t play in the WBC.
MassLive writer Jen McCaffrey asked Red Sox manager John Farrell on his thoughts on his players playing in the WBC.
"“We’re certainly not going to stand in the way of a player that chooses to play and wants to play for their countries,” Farrell said. “I will say this, there is always some concern with the intensity of games at that time of the year, that’s why we’re doing everything we can in the interim to ramp them up to get them close to, it’s not going to be midseason form, but get them in game shape as best we can before they depart for their tournament.”"
In the beginning of the 2016 season, Rodriguez missed the first few months with a knee injury. Along with that, the coaching staff still needs to watch the amount of innings he throws throughout the season so that they don’t risk any other injury.
With all of that being said, the Red Sox should be concerned with Rodriguez pitching in the World Baseball Classic. When you have a guy with so much potential but already has a history with injuries, you should be concerned as he will be pitching like he’s in midseason form. But in actuality, the Major League season hasn’t even begun yet.
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I don’t blame Rodriguez wanting play for his respected country. It is everyone’s dream to do that. But time will only tell if it was a good idea for him to pitch in a tournament that brings so much intensity out of people this early into the season.