Eduardo Rodriguez made his return to the Detroit Tigers on Friday after a lengthy absence away from the team.
The former Red Sox pitcher had been away from the Tigers since June 13 when they placed Rodriguez on the restricted list due to “personal matters.” Neither the Tigers nor Rodriguez ever fully revealed why he stepped away from the team with the lefty going completely silent at one point with the organization.
Detroit activated the southpaw ahead of their series opener against the Los Angeles Angels after designating Wily Peralta for assignment. With Rodriguez rejoining the Tigers, he is slated to pitch on Sunday, according to Evan Woodbery of MLive.com.
Woodbery also noted Rodriguez addressed his teammates prior to Friday’s contest and the 29-year-old was happy to be back with the Tigers.
“It was difficult to step away from my career, my teammates and everything, but for me family is always first,” Rodriguez told reporters, as transcribed by Woodbery. “My second family is my teammates and the organization. They’ve given me an opportunity to be here, and I’m back with my second family.”
It’s certainly been a topsy-turvy first season in Detroit for Rodriguez, who inked a five-year deal worth at least $77 million this offseason after spending the first six years of his career with the Red Sox.
Rodriguez started in eight games for the Tigers — he last pitched on May 18 — this season while posting a 1-3 record to go along with a 4.34 ERA. But now that he has made his return, he will look to get back on track.
“He looks good,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told reporters, per Woodbery. “His tone, his demeanor — things that I’m looking for as a human first — he’s in a much better place.”