Boston Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez just can’t catch a break when it comes to his health, but still refuses to opt out in 2020.
Impacted by the pandemic that sidelined all major sports, Rodriguez not only suffered through a delayed season, he also felt the effects of the unpredictable virus personally as he was diagnosed with COVID prior to the start of the shortened 60-game MLB season.
With a reason to opt out for the season, the Red Sox lefty appeared to recover from the virus and was making his way back to the mound. But now he suffers from a complication due to the virus in the form of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that could further delay his return to the mound.
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Rodriguez confirmed his most recent diagnosis on Sunday after reports surfaced about the minor complications due to the virus.
“That’s the most important part of your body,” Rodriguez said, via WEEI. “The first time I hear, I was kind of scared a little. Now that I know what it is, I’m still scared, but now I know exactly what it is. I just talk to my mom, talk to my wife, let them know what I have, and now I’ve got to take the rest.”
With the Red Sox starting rotation struggling through the first series of the MLB season (except for Nathan Eovaldi), a return of a healthy Eduardo Rodriguez would be ideal. But life comes first for the talented young pitcher who is now depending on rest to get him back to where he wants to be on the mound.
Following a week off, Rodriguez will be re-evaluated and hopefully then he will be able to battle his way back to the mound. Until then, he is showing an extreme amount of heart in his dedication to pitch for the Red Sox in 2020 and not opt out.
“No, no, no, no. I want to be pitching yesterday, the day before, or today,” He said when asked if opting out was being considered. “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.”
Of course, it may be all out of Rodriguez’s hand. If the MRI he is scheduled to take is not on his side, it’s possible he could be forced to sit out the season even longer if he is able to pitch at all. Another factor is how the team does in his absence.
With Martin Perez and Ryan Weber roughed up in their first starts, it looks like the 2020 version of the Boston Red Sox will depend on offense, great defense and more solid performances out of Nathan Eovaldi to stay competitive for a playoff spot until and if Eduardo Rodriguez gets the green light to get back out there on the mound.
Again, life trumps sports. But, a good sign for Red Sox nation is the amount of dedication Rodriguez is showing to get healthy and help his team win ball games.