For now, the Boston Red Sox do not seem to be that concerned about the right knee of Eduardo Rodriguez. The younger Red Sox hurler hurt his knee after slipping on the mound during a start in winter ball down in Venezuela.
Boston’s president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski called the injury only a small tweak and the organization has not asked the pitcher to return to the states for an examination by the team medical staff.
Dombrowski this week said it was likely the last start by Rodriguez in winter ball as the team he plays for will not likely reach the playoffs in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Over the next week, the team will determine whether Rodriguez should return.
However, before Boston dismisses the slip by Rodriguez as a nothing to see situation, it is important to note that the left-hander, who is 23, missed five weeks of spring training and the first 9 weeks of the 2016 regular season due to a right knee dislocation.
That injury as well was not deemed serious by the club when it took place on February 28.
The previous injury to Rodriguez’s knee nearly ended his entire 2016 season. When he returned on May 31, he changed his pitching delivery to avoid placing too much pressure on the knee and his velocity suffered.
In six starts after returning, he had an ERA of 8.59 and then was optioned to the Boston Triple-A team to fix his issues with mechanics.
Boston then recalled the southpaw following the break for the All-Star game and he then posted an ERA of 3.24 with 79 strikeouts over 77 plus innings in 14 starts.
However, he missed one start during August due to an injured hamstring that he thought to be worse than the team thought.
Rodriguez wanted to play winter ball to tune up for March’s World Baseball Classic. It is too early to know if this new setback will keep him from playing for Venezuela in the tournament.
Rodriguez has been penciled in as the No. 4 or possibly No. 5 starter for Boston behind David Price, Rick Porcello and Chris Sale and the team may not want him to risk injuring his knee.
Pitcher Clay Buchholz a starter this past season for Boston was traded last week to Philadelphia. Southpaw Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright a knuckleballer should battle for the final spot during spring training in the Boston starting rotation.