After a challenging bout with COVID-19, Eduardo Rodriguez is feeling good again.
Baseball aside, that’s wonderful news.
But from an on-field standpoint, Rodriguez’s health is a big storyline to watch for the Boston Red Sox, as he’s going to be the ace while Chris Sale — who also contracted the coronavirus — continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Speaking to the media Friday for the first time this spring training, Rodriguez shared an encouraging update on his status.
“Physically, I feel great. I feel 100 percent,” Rodriguez said over Zoom. “Like (Red Sox manager Alex Cora) said, I threw a bullpen two days ago and I feel really good. I’m really excited to be here after everything I went through last year.
” … (This offseason) I was working on getting my body ready, getting my mind ready, get everything ready, my conditioning, everything. I was working on that to be able to get here and be available to go out there every five days, be able to throw 30-plus starts. So, I feel in that position right now, I feel stronger right now, I feel better. My shoulder is good, I threw a bullpen a couple days ago and it feels fine, it feels great. So I feel ready.”
Not only did Rodriguez come down with COVID-19 just before the 2020 season. He also ended up having myocarditis afterwards, which ultimately prompted him to shut down for the campaign.
We’ve known for a while that Rodriguez was heading in the right direction thanks to updates from Cora and the pitcher’s Instagram. But to hear it straight from him with spring training underway should be reassuring news for the Red Sox’s fan base.
Rodriguez was nails in 2019, going 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA across a league-leading 34 starts. He finished sixth in American League Cy Young voting that season after popping up on a few ballots.