The Red Sox starting rotation has been a mess all season, but Eduard Rodriguez has stepped up big time when this team needs him most.
The Boston Red Sox went into spring training with an incredibly strong starting rotation… or so they thought. It was a starting rotation that had just won them a World Series championship only months prior, pitching their way to a 3.77 ERA, to go along with a 3.80 FIP and 3.83 xFIP in 2018.
Missing some time due to an injury was the only reason Chris Sale didn’t win his first Cy Young award. David Price had a fantastic second half, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello were solid, and the Nathan Eovaldi trade worked out perfectly. 2019 has not been as much of a fairy tale, however.
Porcello’s 5.63 ERA is the worst among qualified major league starters. Sale is out for the year, although he wasn’t having a great season anyway. Price was good up until a couple of months ago, and Eovaldi was injured and has yet to get back to his 2018 postseason self.
There is one starter, however, who has been an incredibly positive light in such a negative part of the team. That starter has been Eduardo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, or as we like to call him, E-Rod, has had a great year for his standards. It didn’t start off too well, as he posted a 5.43 ERA in his first 10 starts this year. Since then, the big lefty has recorded a 3.05 ERA in 19 starts, and a 2.58 ERA over his past 13 starts. That’s what you call ace type stuff right there.
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When we think back on the 2019 Red Sox, I know the first thing that comes to mind will be how much of a let down the pitching staff was, especially the starting rotation. Rodriguez has not been a disappointment, leading the team in innings. He’s second in team strikeouts behind Sale, and tied with Justin Verlander and Domingo German with a major league-leading 17 wins. Now, I know that wins aren’t a good way to evaluate a player because it might not always be accurate of how well they have pitched. However, with E-Rod, 17 wins are what the man deserves.
Rodriguez has been the definition of someone you want on the mound. He has given the Red Sox the best chance to win out of any other pitcher on the team, and you can’t ask for much more than that. The Red Sox record at Fenway this season is 11-1 when E-Rod starts. When he doesn’t? 23-32. That tells you everything about this team right there and shows you how valuable Rodriguez has been.
Rodriguez is someone who can be a future ace for this team, as he has a ton of potential. The only problem with E-Rod, up until this point, has been the fact that he is incredibly inconsistent. He can either throw a gem, or not be able to last through the third inning. However, Rodriguez has proven this season that he can, in fact, be consistent. He will have to continue to build on this strong season he’s having if he wants to be considered an ace, but I believe that he can become one. It’s only a matter of time.