Alex Cora Reveals His Challenge To Eduardo Rodriguez This Season

'He's one of the best lefties in the big leagues'

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Eduardo Rodriguez is sitting at a perfect 4-0 for the Boston Red Sox to begin the 2021 Major League Baseball season after missing his first start due to dead arm.

The southpaw also was sidelined for all of 2020 due to myocarditis he suffered from as a result of contracting COVID-19.

There were plenty of questions surrounding Rodriguez prior to his being diagnosed with dead arm, mainly concerns for his health given the lingering effects of the coronavirus are not the same from person to person.

Still, that didn’t stop Red Sox manager Alex Cora from believing Rodriguez would be a solid competitor in the rotation this year. In fact, Cora revealed what he challenged the pitcher to do this season.

“We had an idea that he was gonna be good. Obviously, crossing our fingers that he was gonna be able to handle the workload,” Cora said during an appearance on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio. “You saw what happened in spring training, he was training up then he had dead arm. …Then he came back and … one thing we challenged him (is) he led the league in walks in 2019, not too many people know that because they see the numbers, right? … And what he’s doing right now with his strikeout-to-walk ratio is amazing. That’s great. That’s the cool thing about him. We challenged him, and I’ve been hard on him since 2018, but I think that’s what gets him going. We challenged him to be better, more efficient, to go deeper in games. And he’s doing an amazing job with great stuff. It’s not like it’s marginal stuff. The other day he was throwing 94-95.”

Cora also had some high praise for Rodriguez.

“We’re very happy with him and with the way he’s progressing,” he said. “He’s one of the best lefties in the big leagues.”

Check out Cora’s entire answer below:

Rodriguez certainly has been going deeper into games, and that will make a difference down the road for the bullpen.

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