The day before Opening Day the Red Sox have been thrown another curveball.
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke announced Thursday that Eduardo Rodriguez has been shut down from baseball activities due to health complications stemming from the pitcher's recent bout with COVID-19. Roenicke made it clear that this is not another COVID-19 diagnosis.
"As with all our players who have tested positive for COVID we have continued to monitor them with our medical staff," Roenicke said. " In Eddie’s case, they have discovered some minor complications with him. But because of it, we’re taking everything very seriously with this matter and we’re going to shut Eddie down from baseball activities for a period of time. We’re going to reevaluate him in a week to see where he’s at. It’s a mild case but it’s still serious enough to where we feel like to do the right thing with our players and to take care of them this is a decision our doctors and Chaim and his crew and all of us have come up with. So obviously it backs him off from being active and on the field and being able to be part of our staff. It’s disappointing to him, obviously. He came in here after going through the sickness and felt like he was going to be a full go and now a setback."
Roenicke added, "He hasn’t tested positive and actually he feels OK. It’s just during the process of going through the different things these guys go through with the COVID — and this is from MLB but also from our doctors, what they think is necessary for a player to come back and be healthy and strong and be back on the field — through that monitoring of what is going on with them they just discovered we need to make sure we get rid of this completely before we have him back on the field."
Rodriguez had thrown two bullpens prior to this turn of events.
Roenicke was hopeful that the pitcher would be able to recover shortly, with the possibility of clearance coming as soon as within a week. The manager did note that he was expecting Rodriguez to participate in the 60-game 2020 season.
The lefty was slated to be the Red Sox Opening Day starter when Spring Training 1.0 rolled around, but due to his bout with COVID-19 Nathan Eovaldi was pegged to start the opener earlier this week.
"No doubt we feel for him," Roenicke said."And we need him, too. And he knows it. So it's tough for him to not come back here and jump right in, especially after being through the tough time of sitting at home and not joining the team. He loved walking out there and just talking to the guys and being around them, for all these days since he's been back. And now with the news that we need to shut him down for a period of time is obviously rough on him. Discussions we had with him yesterday with the medical staff again today have made it difficult on him, but he knows this is the right thing to do. He's not saying, 'Oh, I don't think this is right and I should be able to continue to do things.' He knows it's serious enough that we're trying to take care of him. It is mild. He knows that. He's pretty confident in a period of time that when we look at him again in a week, he'll hopefully be over this and we'll jump him right back in there. But he also knows the season is a lot shorter, and his time for making an impact on this team is going to be shorter. It's not going to be what he had hoped for."
The Sox open up their schedule Friday night at Fenway Park against the Orioles.