Manager Alex Cora said Rodriguez missed a bullpen session on Wednesday, two days after he lasted just two innings in a spring training start against Tampa Bay. He played on Thursday and was feeling great, Cora said.
“With the schedule as it is, he won’t be able to publish,” said Cora, who announced Rodriguez as an opening day starter last week. You start adding days and you run out of days. ”
Rodriguez had also been forced to start the 2020 season opener before he was delayed by the coronavirus outbreak. The 27-year-old southpaw contracted COVID-19 and related heart problems that kept him from pitching last season.
Cora said the current problem is unrelated to myocarditis.
“It’s just a dead end,” the manager said, adding, “from 20 he was supposed to be the starter on day one. Going into 21, we announce it, and now it isn’t. ”
Rodriguez was the most reliable member of the Red Sox rotation in 2019, winning 19 games despite the shadowy pitch of Cy Young winners David Price and Rick Porcello and seven-time All-Star Chris Sale. With Price and Porcello gone and Sale recovering from Tommy John’s surgery in 2020, Rodriguez has inherited the role of ace.
But he never got to the mound.
This year it is crucial if the team is to have any hope of competing in the AL East. Cora said it was too early to say whether Rodriguez will need to start the season on the injury list.
“We’ll see how it goes for him to come back to the mound,” Cora said. There are a lot of unknowns. Their bodies are going to let us know how we treat them. ”
Cora said ahead of Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays that Rodriguez pushed to start the opener, but the team made the decision for her.
“Like I told him yesterday, I said, ‘The way you throw the ball, the way your career goes, at some point in your career you’ll be a day one starter – maybe more. once, ”Cora said.
“He took it like a professional,” he said. “For him, accepting it and thinking about the future – not the first game of the season – is a testament to who he is. ”
Eovaldi started the opener in place of Rodriguez last year and will do so again next week, Cora said. To prepare, he will have two more pen sessions before the team breaks camp in Fort Myers, Fla.
“It’s built in terms of the grounds and stuff,” Cora said. He is ready to go. It’s just a matter of how we manage his week. ”
Also on Friday, Cora said the team told rule 5 scout Garrett Whitlock he will be part of the opening day roster. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out 12 points in nine innings while allowing a run in four outings this spring.
“It’s a big time when you tell someone you’re going to be a big leaguer,” Cora said. This is priceless. ”
Whitlock didn’t pitch last season while recovering from Tommy John’s surgery. But the Red Sox had seen enough until 2019 to take a chance on him in the Rule 5 minor league draft. (A selected player must remain on the roster all season or be offered to his squad. origin.)
“The organization did his homework and we decided to recruit him. From there, it’s up to him. He went out of his way to make the team, and I know he’s not going to stop, ”said Cora. You might be a Rule 5 or a 10-year-old vet, but the way he kicked the ball… he’s just getting better and better. ”