Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez is emerging as the ace of the rotation

NEW YORK, NV - JUNE 29: Eduardo Rodriguez #57 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during their game at Yankee Stadium on June 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NV - JUNE 29: Eduardo Rodriguez #57 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during their game at Yankee Stadium on June 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox pitching staff hasn’t been the most reliable this season, but the arm of Eduardo Rodriguez has been a constant positive for the team.

The Red Sox stormed into Kansas City on Tuesday with their backs against the wall. No, they’re not last in the division, but their record is far from something to be desired considering their status as the defending champs. One guy who more often than not has gotten his arm raised in victory lately has been Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez made his 100th career start last night and improved his record to 62-38.

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Eddie Aces as he’s been christened by Jared Carrabis of Barstool Sports has been the most reliable pitcher the Red Sox have put on the mound this season. Rodriguez is now 6-3 on the season, which may not seem impressive, but he seems to be the only Sox pitcher to get support from the team. He also increased his K/BB ratio to 73/20 by adding another 7 fans to his name.

Last night was no different as Boston put an 8 spot on the scoreboard to propel Rodriguez to another victory. It’s a curious case when it comes to E-Rod emerging as the top pitcher in the starting rotation. He’s outshining guys like David Price and Chris Sale on a regular basis. The other two may have flashier starts but it’s Rodriguez walking away with the wins.

"“I can’t explain it but I want to keep being there,” Rodriguez said. “I want to keep being that guy who goes out there and is winning all the time. That’s as a starter what you need. To go out there, give them a chance to win the game and they win the game. I don’t know what it is but I just want to keep it that way.”"

Earlier in the season, I can admit I was frustrated with E-Rod but it wasn’t always for poor starts. Coming out of spring training we had heard of the effort Rodriguez had put in and that he looked like a brand new pitcher.

But when the regular season kicked off it was like the carriage was a pumpkin again and the old E-Rod was back. He was ignoring the gameplan that was set up and was taking pitch selection into his own hands. Then we saw a switch flip and Rodriguez found that confidence that we had heard about and he began to hit his potential.

As I said before, E-Rod for some reason is the only one that seems to be getting some solid run support in his starts. He’s been averaging just under 7.5/RPG and last night’s offensive boom will only help that number. When he takes the mound it feels like all the stars align and the Red Sox are just biding their time until they get another “W.”

"“There’s no explanation,” manager Alex Cora said. “It’s not that he tries harder or that he’s a better teammate and that’s why they play harder for him. It just happens. I think that’s the nature of this game. Some guys get the run support; others don’t.”"

The Red Sox are in a hell of a fight currently as a poor start to the season and lack of killer instinct when facing subpar teams has left them in a deep hole. They’re currently 7.5 games back staring up at the Rays and Yankees with neither team looking to slow down to open the door for Boston.

Luckily for the Sox, they have two more games in KC that can allow them to get some steam before heading home to face Tampa. If they can capitalize on the series with the AL Central last-place Royals, it can only prove to be a confidence boost for the squad.

If the Sox can start tacking runs on the board when Sale and Price are pitching then this comeback will be easy to achieve. Both guys are throwing quality innings each time out but just can’t seem to get the support the Rodriguez is getting. Until Boston gets things figured out though they’ll need to rely on the strong starts that Rodriguez is getting.

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At the start of the season, I don’t think anyone would’ve said that Eduardo Rodriguez was the ace of this Red Sox rotation. But as we’re nearing the end of the first week of June he is exactly that. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the pitching staff begins to fire up. Until then though, Eduardo Rodriguez is absolutely the ace of this Boston rotation.