Eduardo Rodriguez was a question mark for the Boston Red Sox coming into the 2017 season.
The young left-hander has all the talent to be a top of the rotation starter but had been inconsistent over his first two major league seasons due to shaky command, injuries and susceptibility to the big inning.
That all seems like a thing of the past now, though.
Rodriguez has settled into the No. 3 spot in the Red Sox’s rotation behind Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, and his consistency has been a welcome sight with the injuries to Steven Wright and David Price.
The left-hander didn’t have his best stuff during the Red Sox’s 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium, but he minimized the damage and turn in a quality start. Rodriguez’s command left him during the Cardinals’ three-run third inning, but what would have turned into an ugly outing in the past merely was a speed bump during Tuesday’s start, and that showcased Rodriguez’s growth as a pitcher.
The lefty bounced back to toss three scoreless innings after his rough third inning and handed his bullpen the ball with the lead. Rodriguez stayed away from hard contact and protected a one-run lead during the back half of his outing, which was the key in Boston picking up the win.
Rodriguez now has thrown five straight quality starts and improved to 3-1 with the win. He is sporting a 3.05 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP, and opponents are hitting a lowly .204 against him through seven starts and eight appearances.
With uncertainty surrounding the back end of the Red Sox’s rotation, Rodriguez has been everything Boston hoped for when the season began, and probably a little bit more.
Here are more notes from Red Sox vs. Cardinals.
— Hector Velazquez will get the start for the Red Sox on Thursday night against the Oakland Athletics. He is 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Pawtucket this season.
— Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval continues to work his way back from a knee sprain and could go on a rehab assignment as early as Friday.
— Brock Holt left his rehab game at Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday with recurring symptoms of vertigo.
— Left fielder Andrew Benintendi continues to be in an offensive slump after going 0-for-3 on Tuesday night. He now is hitless in his last 21 at-bats.
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images