Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will miss his first scheduled spring training start Sunday after he felt soreness in his left knee following a fall before his live batting-practice throwing session on Wednesday.
Rodriguez's fall came before the BP session. He will throw a live BP Monday rather than pitch against the Baltimore Orioles in a Grapefruit League game Sunday in Sarasota, Fla. Manager Ron Roenicke told reporters the Red Sox are just being cautious.
Rodriguez slipped on the mound. He caught his back foot as he was trying to come through on a pitch. They do not think this is serious, but want to take precautions. As of now, they're planning for him to make a three-inning start in a game by the end of the week.— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) February 22, 2020
Eduardo Rodriguez (sore left knee) was bumped out of his start tomorrow and will throw on a back field on Monday instead. Roenicke said they were just being careful. Rodriguez slipped on the mound Wednesday and fell ... Sale, however, is moving along well as he recovers.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) February 22, 2020
“He was going to pitch [on Sunday], he’s not going to pitch now,” Roenicke told reporters, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. “This we’ve been talking to him and trying to figure out what to do. When he fell the other day, the knee got a little sore. It is not like the other knee where he had issues, this is a minor thing, at least right now it certainly is. But he’s still a little uncomfortable with it. It’s better everyday. So, what we’re going to do is push him back a day, push him back to Monday.”
Right-hander Chris Mazza, 30, claimed off waivers from the Mets in the offseason and in competition for the fifth starter's spot, will get the start Sunday. He had a 3.61 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 17 starts at Triple-A Syracuse last season.
Rodriguez did make a few throws on the side Saturday, as captured by our NBC Sports Boston Camera Guys:
Eduardo Rodriguez threw a side today. His injury doesn’t appear to be serious. Xander Bogaerts in the uncredited role as “player who tracks pitches” 😉#RedSox #SpringTraining pic.twitter.com/zWFGuN9iEj— The Camera Guys (@NBCSCameraGuys) February 22, 2020
Rodriguez missed the start of the 2018 season after offseason surgery on his right knee. He had a breakout season in 2019, going 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA in 34 starts (203.1 innings pitched).
The lefty from Venezuela turns 27 in June as has given some of the credit for his strong 2019 season to the mentorship of Hall of Famer and Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez, now a spring training instructor.
The Sox open exhibition play against major league teams (they beat Northeastern Friday, 3-0) Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla., against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Here's their lineup for the 1 p.m. game:
Andrew Benintendi LF
Jackie Bradley CF
J.D. Martinez DH
Michael Chavis 1B
Kevin Pillar RF
Jose Peraza 2B
Bobby Dalbec 3B
Tzu-Wei Lin SS
Jett Bandy C
Brian Johnson LHP