Anyone watching Eduardo Rodriguez leave the mound Tuesday after two pitches in the bottom of the fifth with what was described as a hamstring injury had the same thought:
See you in September. Or later.
After all, Rodriguez missed three months with a knee injury that the Sox originally said would sideline him for a couple of days. Now he had another leg problem which forced him from a game in which he was more dominant (four no-hit innings, seven strikeouts) than he'd been all year.
But -- and you can take this with the requisite grain of salt, considering their couple-of-days prediction in February -- the Red Sox don't think it's that serious.
“I think we got this early,” said John Farrell. “He felt a little bit of hamstring tightness come on towards the last hitter of the fourth inning. We checked him in between innings. There was no reduction of strength or range of motion. But it was clear the first two pitches he threw to start the fifth, he was not right. He was definitely favoring it so we got him out of the game at the time. He feels a little bit more loose postgame. We’ll have a better read on this [Wednesday].”
And as for his next scheduled start, which comes Sunday in Detroit?
“There’s a chance (he pitches) at this point. I think we got it early enough to where it doesn’t seem to be a significant restriction at this point. But we’ll know more as we get through the coming days.”
All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.
“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”
Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.
“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”
0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.
4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.
10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.
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