Rodriguez allowed six hits and one walk while striking out 10 over four scoreless innings in Wednesday's spring game against the Rays. Rodriguez padded what was already a promising spring. The downside to all the strikeouts is that the pitch count hit the 80s, and he was unable to work a fifth inning. The lefty has allowed two runs on 11 hits and two walks while fanning 20 over 11 spring innings. Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke hasn't announced the Opening Day starter, but as reported by Ian Browne of MLB.com, he told reporters to "figure out the math" to determine who will be on the mound March 26 at Toronto. On a five-day progression going forward, Rodriguez's third turn falls exactly on Opening Day.
Rodriguez is emerging as the leading candidate to start on Opening Day against the Blue Jays, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. Boston manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Wednesday that he doesn't want to name an Opening Day starter too soon, but he's already told the pitcher he's decided on. Rodriguez is scheduled to pitch in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Rays and would get the nod in the opener if he continues to start every five days. The 26-year-old posted a career-best 3.81 ERA across 203.1 innings (34 starts) during his fifth campaign with Boston in 2019. If the team's ace, Chris Sale, is forced to miss multiple months to begin the season, Rodriguez will be heavily relied upon to deliver quality innings to a Red Sox team that will likely feature three new members to their starting rotation compared to last year's staff.
Rodriguez allowed two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out four over four innings in Friday's spring game against Atlanta. Interim manager Ron Roenicke was pleased with Rodriguez's execution for a second straight start, reports Dawn Klemish of MLB.com. "He really threw some good breaking balls today. The fastball and changeup are always there, the cutter is good, but he threw some really nice curveballs. It was nice to see," said the manager. The left-hander used his offspeed arsenal to induce several swings-and-misses against the Braves' "A" lineup. Rodriguez is on schedule to start Opening Day.
Rodriguez allowed two hits and struck out six over three scoreless innings Saturday against the Yankees. Rodriguez was sharp again Saturday, five days after looking equally impressive during a simulated game during which he fanned teammate Rafael Devers five times. "He threw some really good pitches. Located his fastball well. Threw some good changeups," interim manager Ron Roenicke told Ian Browne of MLB.com. "He got in a little bit of trouble, but his command is so good [that] he's able to get out of it. He makes pitches when he needs to." After a string of seasons in which a leg injury of some sort curtailed Rodriguez, the left-hander dazzled in 2019, finishing sixth in voting for the AL Cy Young award, tying for the MLB lead with 34 starts and throwing more than 200 innings for the first time in his career. The Red Sox haven't named an Opening Day starter yet, but that honor is expected to go to Rodriguez.
Rodriguez (knee) has been confirmed as the starting pitcher for Saturday's spring game against the Yankees, according to Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic. Rodriguez's first outing of the spring was delayed a few days because of a sore left knee, but he is ready to take the mound Saturday. He should still have plenty time to build up his stamina before the regular season begins, and with Chris Sale (illness) likely opening on the injured list, he's the favorite to take the ball Opening Day.
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