Though the Red Sox haven’t made any sort of formal announcement or roster move, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez appears headed for the disabled list to begin the season as he recovers from a dislocated kneecap in his right knee. Manager John Farrell acknowledged to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that Rodriguez won’t be ready for the opener, telling reporters that Rodriguez is slated to throw off a mound tomorrow. Rodriguez, though, will require three bullpen sessions before he’s even able to get into a spring game, Abraham notes.
Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal takes a stab at a projected return date, noting that if Rodriguez is to follow the same criteria as other Red Sox starters — making six multi-inning appearances in a game setting before his regular season debut — he’d be unlikely to be available before April 26. The Sox, then, could be without their promising young lefty for the majority of the season’s first month. Fill-in candidates for Rodriguez’s rotation spot would include fellow left-handers Henry Owens and Roenis Elias as well as right-hander Steven Wright. (Left-hander Brian Johnson has been slowed as of late by a sprained toe.) The 31-year-old Wright had an inside track on making the Opening Day roster anyway, due to the fact that he is out of minor league options, but the an injury to Rodriguez could further open the door for him, at least for the season’s first month.
When he returns, Rodriguez will join David Price, Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly in Boston’s starting five, barring any injuries. The 22-year-old Rodriguez recorded 121 2/3 innings if 3.85 ERA ball out of the Sox’ rotation in his rookie season last year, averaging 7.2 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings to go along with a 43 percent ground-ball rate.