After suffering a setback during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket, lefty hurler Eduardo Rodriguez was scratched from his next scheduled start later this week. Rodriguez has been rehabbing his right knee after injuring it early in Spring Training. At first, it was thought to not be serious at all. However, after four starts in Triple-A, Rodriguez has gone 0-3 with a 4.29 ERA and 10 (!) strikeouts in 21 innings. Additionally, Rodriguez has shown decreased velocity, hovering in the range of 94 MPH after being upwards of 97 MPH last season.
Rodriguez has now been shut down and there is no timetable for his return. Previously, E-Rod was scheduled to come up with the Boston Red Sox later this week. Nonetheless, according to manager John Farrell, the Red Sox are hoping Rodriguez will throw a bullpen session on Friday, but will be shut down and not used in games for the foreseeable future.
Here is what Farrell had to say about E-Rod, according to the Boston Herald:
“The soreness crops up, more with the (fielding) drills, the change of direction. All the reports in the last two starts were that he felt more natural with his delivery and was getting out over the front side with better extension, but subconsciously, there’s still some restriction on his part, and we’re not going to risk anything with the potential of trying to do more with your arm to put him in position for potential injury in that way. We felt like the best case was to recall him from the rehab, and he’s not going to start Thursday.”
Well, I would be lying to you if I said that I was not extremely nervous about this. Look, I get it. I understand why the Red Sox are being wildly conservative when it comes to Eduardo Rodriguez. He has the potential to be a top-end of the rotation talent, and there is no reason to risk his future when he is 23-years-old.
Now, with that being said, I think that the Red Sox are in trouble. David Price is a huge question mark right now, even though it looks like he is trending in the right direction. Steven Wright and Rick Porcello (aside from last night) have pitched much better than expected, while Clay Buchholz and Henry Owens/Sean O'Sullivan/Whoever the hell is the #5 starter has pitched TERRIBLE in the first ~40 games of this season.
With such a stout offensive squad, it would be a disservice to the rest of this team if Dave Dombrowski does not improve the starting rotation. The Red Sox have the best offense in all of baseball, an elite bullpen, and a payroll north of $200 million. This team could have World Series aspirations if they add top-end of the rotation talent to this team.
I have mentioned a bunch of different names in the past, such as Sonny Gray in Oakland, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar of Cleveland, and Julio Teheran of Atlanta, but I do not think a move will happen in the upcoming week or two. Look for Dave Dombrowski to quietly be in the market and make a move, at the earliest, in a month.