How’s the conditioning of Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez?
Eduardo Rodriguez had a breakout season in 2019, winning 19 games and posting a 3.81 ERA to finish sixth on the Cy Young ballot. He emerged as the leader of the rotation and even managed to handle the workload of an ace for the first time in his career, making 34 starts while tossing 203 1/3 innings.
It’s hard to imagine E-Rod approaching those career-highs after sitting out last season while recovering from myocarditis, a serious heart condition resulting from his battle with COVID-19.
The Red Sox will be tempted to lean on Rodriguez, especially early in the season while they await the return of Chris Sale. The coaching staff has to be careful to monitor E-Rod’s workload though. We can’t assume that he can go from zero to 200+ innings, especially since he’s only reached 138+ innings once in his career.
We can’t underestimate the toll that his health problems had on his body. Rodriguez wasn’t even medically cleared to walk on a treadmill until September. He claims to be 100 percent healthy but that doesn’t mean his conditioning has returned. Rodriguez was forced to avoid any strenuous exercise for moths. How much has he been able to ramp up activity since then? Is he going to have to work his way back into shape during spring training?
How many innings his arm can handle is a concern to monitor but his overall fitness level needs to be taken into account. Perhaps he’s had sufficient time to get back into playing shape but if he shows up to camp looking like Pablo Sandoval, we might have a problem.