On Thursday, Rodriguez echoed Bloom’s encouraging update, telling MLB Network Radio he anticipates being ready for the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
“I feel great. I started my throwing program. My workouts are going to start next week, like lifting weights and all that,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been doing bike, throwing it a little bit. So I will be 100 percent ready for next season.”
Rodriguez missed all of 2020 after a breakout 2019 in which he went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings across 34 starts spanning 203 1/3 frames.
His absence was a huge blow to Boston’s rotation, which also lost Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery, Rick Porcello to free agency and David Price via trade. And the Red Sox desperately need Rodriguez to return to form in 2021 after a last-place finish in the American League East.
“It was really hard for me just sitting at home and watching them play every day,” Rodriguez said Thursday. “I would say that was the hard part for me.”
The 2021 campaign also is important for Rodriguez because he’s slated to become a free agent next offseason. The left-hander could maximize his earning potential with a strong age-28 season.