Boston Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez showed some flashes of brilliance this season. How much will his injuries plague him in the future?
Eduardo Rodriguez had yet another rough year for the Boston Red Sox, as he continued to battle injuries.
His performance on the mound this year was once again unpredictable. The 24-year old posted a 4.19 ERA in 24 starts in 2017 while battling knee problems on and off throughout the year. He certainly had starts that were impressive, but as has been the case beforehand, it seemed every time he took a step forward he followed it with a step backward.
He definitely has the potential to remain in the rotation upon his return, but his knee problems have worsened as he has undergone surgery to repair a ligament in his right knee. It does not seem like he’ll be ready for early spring, but the Red Sox once again find themselves hoping he can stay healthy once he comes back.
Unfortunately, that leaves us with an open rotation spot potentially for the start of the season, but competition is always great when players are pushing for a spot on the 25-man roster.
What’s important to remember with Rodriguez is he has the potential to be a decent starter. The Red Sox acquired him back in 2014 for Andrew Miller, a trade that so far seems like a loss. If he can straighten himself out, he can start to change the verdict. His potential at the time was exciting, but besides his flashes of good performances, he’s been slightly below average.
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Patience from the Red Sox may be important for him, as if he can come back healthy he could be a solid middle of the rotation guy and contribute to a team in 2018 that has a lot to prove, as does he himself. He still has decent punchout ability with 9.8 K/9 – a statistic that he has improved upon every season so far.
His innings workload is very low as he has never thrown more than 140 in his career due to injuries, however, that has also gone up each season regardless.
When I think E-Rod, unpredictability is the first thing that comes to mind. The second is potential. He has exciting capabilities and fans need to remember his age and the fact that there is still time for him to turn himself into a solid and dependable third starter- but his time is ticking and his last injury could be costly.
Keeping this in mind, I give Eduardo Rodriguez a begrudged C. I definitely think he could have been worse, and part of me wants to give him a C-. We wanted to see him take a step forward this year, but besides his K/9 rate, he essentially repeated his 2016 season in my opinion. He doesn’t deserve a lower grade, however, as I still feel he’s worth keeping in the rotation when healthy-until he proves otherwise.
If he was older, the story may be different but he absolutely needs to prove he isn’t a bust and career 4.00 ERA pitcher next season. If he can land a season where he stays healthy and maintains an ERA of under 3.70, I’d be happy with that performance.