UPDATE (3:45 P.M. ET): Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora on Tuesday confirmed that pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez will start Thursday against the Orioles in Baltimore.
ORIGINAL STORY: We now have a better sense of how the Red Sox will handle the impending return of Eduardo Rodriguez.
“It looks like (Rodriguez) will be a go this week,” Cora said during an appearance on MLB Network Radio, as transcribed by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
The Red Sox initially planned for rookie right-hander Tanner Houck to begin the season at the alternative training site in Worcester, Mass. But Rodriguez’s injury opened a spot in the rotation for Houck, who fanned eight Baltimore Orioles on Saturday over five impressive innings. The 2017 first-round pick now has 29 strikeouts and a 1.23 ERA over 22 big league innings.
Despite Houck’s success, the youngster likely will head to Worcester upon Rodriguez’s return.
“We had a plan coming into the season and we’ll probably stick with it,” Cora said Tuesday afternoon during an appearance on WEEI, as transcribed by the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato.
Cora also said that Houck will be in the bullpen for Tuesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, and seemingly will remain there until Rodriguez officially returns.
It’s unclear exactly when Rodriguez will make his first start, although Thursday’s matchup with the Orioles in Baltimore has been floated as a potential target.