What a Healthy E Rod Would Mean
When the Red Sox acquired Eduardo Rodriguez for Andrew Miller, he was a top prospect. In his first year in Boston he impressed, going 10-6 as a rookie. In his MLB debut against the Texas Rangers he threw seven and two thirds scoreless innings. The Sox were in the middle of a lost year and he was seen as the future. Since that season Eduardo has struggled with health and performance. He’s shown flashes of the talent that once had him projected as a top of the rotation starter, but has not been consistent. This upcoming season will be big for Eduardo as he looks to prove people wrong.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Steven Senne
Rodriguez’s Early Days
Once the Sox acquired the lefty from Baltimore, he became their best pitching prospect. On the same day the Red Sox acquired Rodriguez they traded John Lackey and fan favorite John Lester. The Red Sox were rebuilding, and Rodriguez immediately became a key part of the future. Eduardo was solid and his rookie year was promising. Like any other rookie he went rough his growing pains particularly with framing his pitches. Rodriguez made the necessary adjustments and finished the season strong. 2016 was a different story for Rodriguez.
Photo Credit: Boston Globe
In 2016 Eduardo battled injuries and struggled with his performance. His ERA rose from 3.85 in his rookie season to 4.71. He finished the season with three wins and seven losses. The once talented prospect from a stats perspective took a major regression. The season was not a lost cause, however, as during the second half of the 2016 season he rebounded. In the second half he pitched to a 3.24 ERA compared to his first half ERA of 6.89. His strikeout rate also improved in the second half of the season to 9.2. This was what made him so successful in the minors. Going into 2017 hopes were still high for Rodriguez.
2017 Season and the Lefty’s Future
In 2017 the story was the same for the former top prospect. He struggled to stay on the field as he battled knee issues. Going into next season he has one more chance. The Sox have Price, Chris Sale, and Drew Pomeranz at the top of the rotation. This means Rodriguez does not have to be the savior he was once seen as. If he can pitch to his potential, then the Sox could have another ace in the back end of the rotation. Rodriguez still has electric stuff he just needs to stay healthy. The Sox haven’t given up on him and in 2018 Rodriguez will look to reward their faith.
View the original article on Red Sox Extra: 2018 is a Critical Year for Rodriguez