With free agent acquisition and No. 1 left-hander David Price appearing vulnerable through the Boston Red Sox' first 30 games, amounting the most earned runs (31) and highest ERA (6.75) for pitchers with at least 40 innings logged, the ballclub is in need of a pick-me-up in their starting rotation in order to continue the success they have experienced in 2016.
Rodriguez to return soon
Just as the doctor ordered, it appears that help may be on the way in the form of left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who could make his debut at Fenway Park as soon as next Sunday against the Houston Astros after successfully tossing his third rehabilitation start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday afternoon.
Rodriguez, who compiled a 10-6 record and a 3.85 ERA in 21 starts in his rookie season with the big league club in 2015, was expected to become a premier starter in the Red Sox rotation this season before suffering a right knee injury in early spring training, which landed him on the 15-day disabled list to begin the year.
The 23-year-old now appears ready to take the hill in a Boston uniform after nearing 100% in his appearance on the Pawtucket mound on Sunday, his third with the minor league club.
E-Rod lasts 5.2 innings in third rehab start
After allowing just three earned runs in six innings of work in his second rehab showing, Rodriguez followed up with another solid performance, yielding just three runs on six hits and one walk in 5.2 innings while throwing 93 pitches and striking out a pair of batters in Pawtucket's 3-2 loss to Rochester.
Rodriguez was able to throw his fastball, changeup, and curveball with no limitations, iterating to reporters following the contest that he felt much more comfortable dealing to the plate than in his previous two outings.
However, the one red flag in the Venezuelan's performance was the two home runs that he allowed, with one long ball coming off of a hanging changeup that Rodriguez left up in the zone.
Red Sox manager John Farrell mentioned that the organization will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss what Rodriguez' near future holds, stating that it is certainly a possibility that the phenom makes his next start on an MLB mound.