John Farrell announced following Saturday’s 3-2 win that Henry Owens will start in place of Eduardo Rodriguez on Sunday against the Tigers in Detroit. Rodriguez was pulled early from Tuesday’s start in Baltimore because of discomfort in his left hamstring.
Although all signs pointed to E-Rod making the start, Rodriguez threw a 20-pitch touch-up before Saturday’s game and said he didn’t feel 100 percent.
“After his bullpen here today, continued to feel some uncertainty in the hamstring that didn’t feel like he could make the pitches necessary with the conviction required,” Farrell told reporters in Detroit.
Farrell’s concern was not just surrounding Rodriguez’s health, but also his ability to pitch competitively for a long stretch -- and not force another extended bullpen day.
“When he talked about it, [we] didn’t want to put him out there with that frame of mind,” Farrell said.
Rodriguez said he felt similarly, with hopes of avoiding what happened when he first returned from his knee injury.
“I don’t want to get in the game tomorrow and do something wrong [to aggravate it],” he told reporters after Saturday’s game. “Or get in the game not focus on throwing strikes.”
Despite missing the start, Rodriguez said he didn't think he would have to go on the disabled list and he’s confident he’ll be ready to go soon.
“Day by day I feel better and better, but I don’t feel ready for tomorrow,” Rodriguez said.
To make room for Owens on the roster, infielder Deven Marrero was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Owens was scheduled to start Saturday for the PawSox. The left-hander hand control problems in his earlier stint this season with Boston (13 walks in 12 1/3 innings), but has pitched better lately at Triple A (four runs allowed in his past four starts, 29 strikeouts in his past 23 innings).