The differences outweigh the similarities.
One is a 22-year-old native of Venezuela with just 21 major league starts under his belt. The other is an eight-year veteran with five All-Star selections and a Cy Young award on his résumé.
Yet Eduardo Rodriguez and David Price will fight for the same cause with the Red Sox this season, and the younger of the two left-handed pitchers sounds eager to pick the brain of Boston’s new ace.
“Having (Price) here, for me, it’s going to be pretty good because he can teach me how to pitch, because he’s a lefty and we have almost the same mechanics,” Rodriguez, who’s already at the Red Sox’s spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., recently told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. “We throw the same — 94-97 (mph). So it’s going to be pretty good for me having him here in spring training.
“If they put me in the same group with him, it’s going to be way better for me because he can teach me everything. Whenever we do something, he can teach me how to control the game. For me? It’s going to be great.”
Rodriguez impressed the Red Sox in his first big league stint last season. He kicked off his career in historic fashion and immediately carved out a spot in Boston’s rotation, ultimately finishing with a 10-6 record and a 3.85 ERA over 121 2/3 major league innings.
There were some bumps along the way, like when Rodriguez seemingly tipped his pitches while working out of the stretch. But it’s easy to see why Boston is so high on the young southpaw, especially now that he’ll team up with one of Major League Baseball’s best lefties in Price.
“Two years ago, I got Johan Santana (in spring training) in Baltimore and he taught me a lot, and that’s why I got in the big leagues last year and did pretty good,” said Rodriguez, who was traded to the Red Sox at the deadline in July 2014 for Andrew Miller. “He taught me how to do this, this and this. So now I have (Price) here and he can teach me with every start how to get better.”
The Red Sox gave Price a lot of money in free agency — $217 million over the next seven years, to be exact — to become the leader of their pitching staff. With that comes high expectations and the belief he’ll positively impact the club even on days when he’s not pitching.
Rodriguez is perhaps his most important student.
Thumbnail photo via Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports Images
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