Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez has become “The Man” for Boston

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Eduardo Rodriguez #57 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the third inning of a game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on August 23, 2019 in San Diego, California. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players' Weekend. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Eduardo Rodriguez #57 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the third inning of a game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on August 23, 2019 in San Diego, California. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players' Weekend. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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In a season that’s been a disappointment for the Boston Red Sox, one pitcher has stepped up and carried the team. Eduardo Rodriguez is definitely “The Man.”

I don’t think any member of Red Sox Nation could write this season off as anything but a disappointment. We’ve had a few high points but for the most part, this has been a campaign that has probably set records for beer sales at Fenway Park.

One man that has made good on his efforts this season though, has been Eduardo Rodriguez. As we close out the 2019 season he’s been the only constant in the starting rotation, and he’s officially become “The Man.”

With guys like David Price and Chris Sale also in the rotation, it’s hard to think anyone else could shine let alone outperform them, but E-Rod has done just that in 2019. Rodriguez is currently sitting on a 17-6 record which gives him a .739 win percentage, the highest of his career to this point.

The 17 wins is also a new high and it feels like the lefty is finally approaching his potential. When you look at his stats for this season it’s a non-stop career-high fest for both good and bad. E-Rod is hitting highs in innings pitched (178.2), earned runs (74), walks (67), strikeouts (177), and WHIP (1.343.) His ERA is also hitting a best for his time in the majors as he’s at 3.73, the lowest mark of his career.

With the Red Sox fully on life support as they’re already eliminated from the AL East and the Wild Card is slipping through their grasp, Rodriguez still offers hope. Going forward Sale and Price will always carry the “Ace” tag but if anyone has truly earned it over the last few seasons it’s Rodriguez. He finished the 2018 World Series campaign with a 13-5 record and has fully destroyed that in 2019.

When you think of the mentality of being “The Man,” it’s at its core about being the absolute best at any given time in your field. E-Rod may not be the tops in the entire Majors as far as pitching is concerned though he is tied for third in wins with Stephen Strasburg at 17.

They’re right behind Domingo Hermán and Justin Verlander who both have 18. Rodriguez has more than done what is needed for him to be in the conversation as one of the best pitchers of 2019. Sadly the team’s poor year will likely overshadow his body of work.

The Red Sox are in the arbitration stages with Eduardo and he won’t be a free agent until 2022. With a lot of the uncertainty in Boston right now, it may be in their best interests to get an extension cooking for Rodriguez.

I can admit in year’s past that I haven’t been E-Rod’s biggest fan as he always seemed like a guy with loads of potential that never hit the target. Between last year and what he’s been able to do so far in 2019, he’s more than won me over and I’m on the Eduardo Rodriguez War Wagon.

Again, with some of the flashier names on the payroll not many would think of E-Rod as an elite pitcher for the Boston Red Sox let alone the MLB as a whole, but he sure as hell is. If he puts in the work this winter just as he had this past offseason then I think it’s easy to say that Rodriguez could be a 20-game winner for the Sox.

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He’ll be flirting with the achievement by the end of this season and it’s not hard to believe that he could continue to improve his skills. Going into this year we heard from the likes of Alex Cora and Pedro Martinez about how good Eduardo was looking in spring training. As the preseason was progressing he was the pitcher that the Red Sox were talking about more than any other on the roster, and it’s hard not to see why.

If we’ve learned anything from this season it’s clear that both Price and Sale have some serious wear and tear on their bodies and they may not be the same going forward. I know, that sounds pretty damn dramatic but it’s really hard to argue against that sentiment.

Sale missed a chunk of 2018 and was shut down for the final two months of this year. Price was strong last year but has been a rollercoaster this season and may get shut down as well.

With all of the unrest in the starting rotation between the big-name stars, it’s been Eduardo Rodriguez that has kept the ship afloat. He’s been the one positive constant throughout this awful season and has fully embraced his role as “The Man,” in the starting rotation.

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If he continues to show the promise we all hoped he would then I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox decided to lock him down long-term. Eduardo truly has been masterful this season and in a year where the Red Sox needed him the most, he more than showed up for the occasion. As Boston begins their transition out of the Dave Dombrowski Era I think it would be wise to extend Eduardo before his price tag exceeds the bankroll.