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2021 Boston Red Sox: Cora Announces Opening Day Starter

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Following Wednesday’s spring training game against the Twins, Red Sox manager Alex Cora delivered some big news. The 2021 Boston Red Sox Opening Day starter will be Eduardo Rodriguez.

2021 Boston Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez Before 2021

Eduardo Rodriguez being named the Opening Day starter for Boston is a feel-good moment for the 27-year-old left-hander. Rodriguez made his MLB debut with Boston in 2015 and proved to be a competent pitcher every season at the major league level. In 2018, Rodriguez went 13-5 with a .382 ERA helping Boston on their World Series run. His breakout year was in 2019 when he won 19 games with a career-low ERA and over 200 strikeouts. Rodriguez finished sixth in Cy Young voting that season.

The lefty was set to be Boston’s Opening Day starter last season, but experienced myocarditis (heart inflation) as a result of contracting COVID-19. Rodriguez needed to be shut down for the entire 2020 season due to the complications and threw in a game for the first time since 2019 this spring. Now as one of the longest-tenured players on the team, Eduardo Rodriguez will look to fill a leadership role as the 2021 Boston Red Sox ace.

Amazing Spring Start

Eduardo Rodriguez did his part to make Cora’s decision rather easy. Despite not pitching in a game for over a year, Rodriguez came out of the gate pitching better than ever before. Through three starts this spring, Rodriguez has pitched 11.2 innings giving up just three runs on eight hits. Perhaps most impressive is that Rodriguez has recorded 14 strikeouts without walking a single batter. With control being an issue for Rodriguez in the past, walking an MLB high 75 batters in 2019, the K/BB ratio this spring is an amazing sign.

Cora’s Comments

It is clear the confidence both the manager and the team have in Rodriguez on the mound. While announcing the news, Alex Cora referred to Rodriguez as “One of the best out there,” and that “Right now, everything is on point”. Now Rodriguez will be leading a five-man rotation that should perform much better than the 2020 staff. Boston could be expected to have the rotation go Rodriguez, Eovaldi, Richards, Perez, Pivetta with pitchers like Tanner Houck and Matt Andriese providing potential depth. Overall, Sox fans should be thrilled with this announcement and expecting big things from Eduardo Rodriguez this season.

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