Eduardo Rodriguez dazzles in major league debut

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When the Red Sox called up prospect left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to make his major league debut tonight against the Rangers, the thought was that it would just be a spot-start in order to give the other members in the rotation an extra day of rest. Well, it’s safe to say that there could be a change of plans.

Rodriguez was nothing short of excellent tonight, holding the Rangers scoreless over 7 2/3 innings as part of a 5-1 victory. The 22-year-old gave up just three hits and two walks while striking out seven batters. Sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball, he threw 68 out of 105 pitches for strikes and induced nine swinging strikes.

It looked like Rodriguez was done after seven innings, especially after the Red Sox scored three runs in a lengthy top of the eighth, but he came back out for the bottom of the eighth and struck out the first two batters he faced before walking Robinson Chirinos and giving up a single to Delino DeShields, Jr. That was the end of the night for Rodriguez, but fortunately for him, Tommy Layne was able to get the final out to keep the scoreless outing intact.

Acquired from the Orioles last July in the Andrew Miller deal, Rodriguez rattled off a 0.96 ERA over his final six starts with Double-A Portland last season and had a 2.98 ERA and 44/7 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings over his first eight starts with Triple-A Pawtucket this season. You can’t fault Baltimore for going for it, but that has a chance to be a really good deal for Boston.

While no official decision has been made yet, Red Sox manager John Farrell told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald after the game that he “would hope” Rodriguez remains in the rotation. Joe Kelly, the owner of a 6.24 ERA, figures to get the boot if he sticks around.

Report: Red Sox to sign Zack Godley

Red Sox sign Zack Godley
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that the Red Sox are nearing an agreement with pitcher Zack Godley. It is still unclear whether the contract will be of the minor or major league variety.

Godley, 30, was with the Tigers on a minor league contract but the club released him in early April. The right-hander pitched for the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays last season, amassing 92 innings with a 5.97 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio. Godley was quite solid for the D-Backs in 2017, posting a 3.37 ERA over 155 innings, so the Red Sox are hoping to see that version of him.

The Red Sox need starting pitching depth with Chris Sale out for the year due to Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodríguez sidelined because of a positive COVID-19 test. Collin McHugh is also still on the mend from an elbow injury. The starting rotation at the moment includes Nathan Eovaldi, Martín Pérez, Ryan Weber, and Brian Johnson. It is certainly the club’s biggest weakness.

The Red Sox open up the 2020 regular season at home against the Orioles on July 24. Eovaldi would seem to be the one to get the Opening Day nod. Godley could slot in anywhere else in the rotation, from No. 2 to 5.