Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez says he's ready to return after a lost season. The left-hander missed all of the 2020 season after contracting COVID-19 and then dealing with myocarditis, a heart condition.
On MLB Network Radio on Thursday, Rodriguez said that he "will be 100 percent ready for next season," noting how great he feels and that he's planning to start workouts and throwing program as soon as next week. He said he's been riding a bike and doing some running in the meantime.
To put aside baseball, it's great to hear that Rodriguez is recovering from a heart condition. He mentioned on the interview how scary it was at first, but he seems to have fully recovered and that's outstanding.
From a baseball standpoint, Rodriguez will be a welcome re-addition for the Red Sox, assuming he gets through the spring with no issues. The Red Sox in 2020 ranked 25th in the majors with a 5.34 rotation ERA and were 28th overall with a 5.58 team ERA.
Rodriguez, 27, was 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 213 strikeouts against 75 walks in 203 1/3 innings for them in 2019. The walks -- and AL-high total -- were a problem, but he posted a 126 ERA+ and logged a nice workload.
Even with Rodriguez back, the Red Sox could still stand to add some rotation help before the start of the 2021 season, assuming they plan on contending. Chris Sale had Tommy John surgery last spring and isn't likely to provide help before the middle of the summer at the earliest. Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi are the only sure things in the rotation. Righties Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta could earn opening day rotation spots and past that, it's a bit muddled.
Expect the Red Sox to pursue rotation help from outside the organization this offseason, but for now, it sounds like good news on Rodriguez.