Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will not pitch this season because of complications following his bout with COVID-19, according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. Less than a week ago, Rodriguez confirmed that he had been diagnosed with myocarditis, or "an inflammation of the heart muscle," per the Mayo Clinic definition.
Rodriguez, who is 27 years old, is not opting out. Rather, he's being shut down by the team. Cotillo reports that Rodriguez is expected to make a full recovery, but that his condition has not improved. Rodriguez had said that he would undergo another MRI this week to see if he had made progress, and if so he intended to pitch this season rather than opt out.
"I want to be pitching yesterday, the day before, or today," Rodriguez told reporters, while noting that his heart condition still scared him. "I want to be out there every time I can, so I'm never thinking of getting out of the season. I feel bad every time I see a game happening and I'm not even in the dugout."
Rodriguez is scheduled to qualify for free agency after next season. For his career, he's compiled a 4.03 ERA (113 ERA+) and 2.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 699 career innings. The Red Sox originally acquired Rodriguez from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Andrew Miller at the 2014 trade deadline.
Myocarditis can affect the "heart's ability to pump" and can cause "rapid or abnormal heart rhythms," according to the Mayo Clinic, and is a condition that is usually caused by a viral infection. Although COVID-19 is considered a respiratory disease, it has been linked to myocarditis frequently enough to merit further scientific study. A sports cardiologist explained to CBS Sports the potential impact of COVID-19 on the heart before the season began.