The Emergence of Eduardo Rodriguez

At the start of the 2019 season, nobody could have guessed that the ace of the rotation would be Eduardo Rodriguez. The emergence of Eduardo Rodriguez is something truly great this season. Despite the fact that the Red Sox probably won’t be making the post season, it’s hard to not look at Rodriguez’s season so far. At 49-30 in his career, he is one win away from his 50th MLB win.

Following last night’s win over the Minnesota Twins, Eduardo Rodriguez improved to 17-5eduardo rodriguez on the season. With a little less than a month left, he is on pace to have 20 wins for the first time in his career. The last Red Sox player to get to 20 wins was Rick Porcello in 2016. While the 2019 season hasn’t gone the way the Red Sox wanted, the emergence of Eduardo Rodriguez is remarkable.

Eduardo Rodriguez’s Backstory

Eduardo Rodriguez came to Boston at the 2014 trade deadline. The Red Sox traded Andrew Miller to the Baltimore Orioles for Rodriguez, who was then assigned to the Portland Sea Dogs. In six starts with Portland, Rodriguez had a 3-1 record, and a 0.96 ERA. He then made the jump to the Pawtucket Red Sox, pitching in one game for them during their postseason in 2014.

During the offseason, the Red Sox placed him on the 40 man roster, which protected him from the Rule 5 Draft. Rodriguez started the 2015 campaign with the Pawtucket Red Sox, where he started in eight games. He posted a 4-3 record with Pawtucket, and had a 2.98 ERA.

On May 28th, 2015, the emergence of Eduardo Rodriguez came to the Red Sox’s aid. The Venezuelan born lefty made his Major League Debut that day against the Texas Rangers in Texas. Rodriguez went 7.2 innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven batters to earn his first MLB win.

How The Emergence of Eduardo Rodriguez Has Helped Boston

While the Red Sox rotation hasn’t been producing, one pitcher has been a workhorse on the mound. Despite loosing his first two starts of 2019, Eduardo Rodriguez has been a dominating force on the mound. In his third start of the season, Rodriguez went 6.2 innings, allowing two runs off of three hits. The Red Sox went onto win that game, and Rodriguez earned his first win of 2019.

Since his first start with Boston in 2015, Rodriguez has slowly become a dominate force on the mound. The emergence of Eduardo Rodriguez started last season, when he went 13-5, and posted a 3.82 ERA. So far this season, Rodriguez has increased his win total by four, and has a 3.81 ERA. If he continues to dominate, then he will get to 20 wins for the first time in his career.

Can Rodriguez Continue His Success In 2020

Last night, Rodriguez went seven innings, allowing five hits, and struck out eight batters. Rodriguez also lowered his ERA from 3.97 to 3.81, with no signs of slowing down. Rodriguez is 38 strikeouts away from reaching 700, and is in a three way tie with Domingo German and Justin Verlander for the most wins in the American League. If all continues to go well for him, don’t be surprised if Rodriguez wins, or is the runner up, for the Cy Young Award.

Will he be able to continue his success in 2020? I think so, and the stats don’t lie. Rodriguez has improved every season since joining the Red Sox in May 2015. Despite a poor 2016 and 2017, he has improved himself over the last few seasons. The emergence of Eduardo Rodriguez this season is something pretty special, and he is only just beginning. While everyone is worried about Chris Sale and David Price, Rodriguez has been the main person in the rotation for Boston. 2020 looks bright for Eduardo Rodriguez.

Will Hunter Greene Be The Number One Draft Pick?

I would like to look ahead into the future of baseball with the 2017 MLB Draft fast Hunter Greene Draft Pickapproaching. With the first overall pick, the Minnesota Twins are expected to rather select HS RHP/SS Hunter Greene, 1B/LHP Brendan McKay (Louisville), or RHP Kyle Wright (Vanderbilt). The Twins’ selection will be followed by picks from the Reds’ and Padres’ organizations. Each of these organizations will be looking to select a franchise player. Since he seems to be the center of attention, we are going to take a look at the Notre Dame High School attending phenom, Hunter Greene.

Hunter Greene Is Not A Risky Draft Pick

Though there has never been a right-handed pitcher taken as the number-one overall selection before, Greene is a player that would thrive in doing so. The kid is just 17 years old, but is already on track to be baseball’s next superstar. Greene maxes his fastball out at a supposed 102 MPH, and hit a whopping .324 with 6 homers and 28 RBI. Greene posted a solid .75 ERA in 28 IP while striking out 43 before being shut down on the mound. The two-way sensation is committed to attend UCLA, but that won’t be a factor when he is drafted next week. This kid is a class act; he has been acknowledged for his community service efforts as well as his grades in school. Greene is a local role model for the young baseball players of his area.

Should the Twins Select Hunter Greene?

How many times have we seen it happen before as sports fans? The high-school phenom that was supposed to change the world of sports gets injured or burns out before their prime. Hunter is said to participate in yoga classes, and have a very good connection to his body, as well as his arm. The Twins are in a serious rebuilding stage, and they certainly do not want to mess this pick up. Some believe that the team should play it safe and select a player with college experience, while some think Greene is the right choice for the Twins moving forward. Personally, I think Hunter Greene has all the talent and potential that he needs to be selected number one. He also looks to have the demeanor and willingness to compete for a World Series title in the future. You hear that, Dave?

Reports: Red Sox Acquire Fernando Abad

With the non-waiver trade deadline closing in, the Red Sox have acquired left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, according to multiple reports. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports broke the news on Twitter, with several others confirming the deal between Boston and Minnesota.

Who is Fernando Abad?

Fernando Abad

Abad is a 30-year old hurler with considerable experience at the Major League level. He debuted with the Astros in 2010, and also spent time with Washington and Oakland. Abad then joined the Twins on a minor league deal prior to 2016.

This year, Abad has appeared in 39 games and produced a 2.65 ERA. However, left-handed batters are hitting just .163 against him this season, which makes him a valuable asset if used correctly.

What Was the Price Tag?

According to reports, the Red Sox sent Pat Light to Minnesota in the deal. Light struggled in minimal Major League duty this year, so the initial price is fairly reasonable. However, MLB.com does rank him as Boston’s 14th-best prospect, so there could be some longer term ramifications.

The new addition will help fortify an improving bullpen, which is a pivotal ingredient in the postseason. Boston recently added Brad Ziegler, but reinforcements were still needed when Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara landed on the disabled list. Ideally, those guys will give manager John Farrell plenty of options to mix and match down the stretch.

Elsewhere, Dave Dombrowski is working on other possible additions before the deadline at 4pm ET. Several industry whispers have the Red Sox trying hard to acquire Chris Sale from the White Sox, although little time remains for a deal to be concluded. The Dodgers have just finished a blockbuster for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick of Oakland, so there may be an opportunity for the Red Sox to pounce in a chaotic market for starting pitching.

Stick with Yawkey Way Report for regular updates throughout the day.

Should Red Sox Shop for a Replacement for David Ortiz?

Should the Red Sox shop for a replacement for David Ortiz? While many are looking at Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts to take over for Ortiz when he retires, I’m starting to wonder if it would be a good idea to look outside the Red Sox organization for new replacement for David Ortizblood and snatch someone from another team.

Now, before anyone slams me for saying this, keep in mind that Ortiz himself wasn’t home-grown. Ortiz came over from in 2003 after a few years of inconsistent hitting with the Minnesota Twins. In fact, it was Pedro Martinez who pushed Theo Epstein to sign Ortiz, who later helped the Red Sox win their first World Series in eighty-six years. There’s a few reasons why looking elsewhere for a replacement would be a great idea.

First, veterans on the team like Dustin Pedrioa, Clay Bucholtz, and even Ortiz himself could  make suggestions to Dave Dombrowski, just like Martinez did for Epstein. They’ve been around the game for many years and definitely know good talent when they see it. While there’s more than plenty of talent in the organization already, especially in Pawtucket (I’m looking at you Josh Rutledge and Henry Owens!), the Red Sox need a leader. They need a younger but seasoned player who can join the team sooner than later before Ortiz leaves. By then, this new leader will be able to take the reigns from Ortiz more smoothly.

Let’s look at Baltimore’s Manny Machado. He’s young, hit 35 home runs last season, and has a solid batting average. He’d mesh well with the younger players like Travis Shaw and Mookie Betts. Then there’s Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, another young player who helped lead the Royals to the World Series last year with 22 home runs. The Red Sox could use that kind of experience on the team. These two guys are young enough that they’ll be around for years to come and with experience, can lead the Red Sox to another post-season appearance.

Could Replacement for David Ortiz Come From The National League?

If the Red Sox shop for someone outside of the American League they might find strong talent in the Mets organization. Travis Taijeron, who has yet to play a major league game, has already been named a top rookie in the Mets camp, and hit 27 home runs last season in the minors. He hasn’t made it to the majors yet, but the alternative hitting perspective he’d bring to the Red Sox would benefit other hitters who could look to him to see how his hitting improved with other teams. In other words, he could provide an alternative perspective.

Whoever it is that takes Ortiz’s place in the lineup, whether it’s someone already with the Red Sox, or someone from another team,  it’ll most likely surprise those in the Red Sox Nation. Few thought Ortiz would be a major benefit for the Red Sox when he signed with them in 2003, so it’s possible that his successor might follow a similar path. So who knows who it’ll be? Maybe he’s already on the team, or with another team, just waiting for the right time and place to take his rightful place in the lineup.

Xander Bogaerts has finally arrived

Xander Bogaerts burst on to the scene in 2013, showing incredible poise in the big leagues during the Red Sox run to the championship that year. He set his bar too high during that run, as a matter of fact, as he followed it up with a disappointing 2014 season in which he finished with a .240 average, 12 home runs and 138 strikeouts, per ESPN. So, what was different last year? The Red Sox brought in one Stephen Drew to play shortstop, because Xander was struggling defensively at the time. He made 10 errors in 44 games before Drew came in, according to ESPN.

That move was not good for his confidence, to say the least, as he struggled the rest of Xander Boagertsthe way. He couldn’t break out of a months-long slump, and his defense was still bad, as he made 10 errors at 3rd in 99 games in 2014. That’s changing, it would seem, though, as Xander seems to be in a more comfortable place. He’s hitting .291 right now, and he’s capable of drilling the ball. One of the highlights of Tuesday’s 1-0 win was Xander Bogaerts smacking a double off the center field wall in the 7th. He would then come around to score on Rusney Castillo’s RBI single later in the inning.

And it’s not just getting it done with his bat. He’s getting it done with his glove, as well. He’s made 3 more plays than the average shortstop, which ranks 9th among active shortstops according to the Globe. He’s certainly progressed from last year, and it seems that he’s back on track after struggling so much last season. This kid is still 22, and while he’s not a superstar yet, I think he’s finally in a comfortable position. He showed us flashes of what he had in 2013, but he has a chance this season to really tap into his full potential. There’s no impending Stephen Drew signing this year to hurt his confidence, so this is his year to really make the shortstop position his. Hopefully, he can keep this up.

Clay Buchholz Passed the Eye Test

I’ve seen Clay Buchholz pitch twice in person now. Once was back on May 21st against the Texas Rangers, when he threw 7.1 innings, struck out 4 and gave up 3 runs in a loss. A valiant effort, but a loss nonetheless. The Red Sox offense did nothing to pick him up that night, so Clay Buchholz couldn’t be blamed for everything on that particular night, as he did everything possible to keep the team in the game.

The 2nd time was last night, and it was a gem. His performance a couple of weeks ago Clay Buchholz was nothing like last night, though, when he shut down the Twins, scattering 3 hits over 8 innings and striking out 8 batters, while only walking 2.

Clay Buchholz was nothing short of perfect last night, and he needed to be, since the offense couldn’t do much of anything last night. That is, until Rusney Castillo drove in the lone run in the 7th last night with an RBI single. That was enough for Clay, as he didn’t need the extra help, at least on offense.

The only scare came in the 8th inning when Aaron Hicks drilled a ball to the right field wall, which Castillo made the play on thankfully. Other than that, the Twins never really looked like a threat offensively. They couldn’t put anything together, and that was thanks to Clay Buchholz’s brilliance on the mound.

The only thing stopping Clay from completing the shutout was that he wasn’t 100%, apparently. At least, that’s what Clay himself told the media after the game. Per the Boston Globe:

“Definitely didn’t feel 100 percent, but it wasn’t a reason for me to skip a start,” Buchholz said. “I told them I’d go out there, give them what I got, and fortunately I was able to give them eight innings. If it was any other day and I felt good and that’s how the game was going, I wouldn’t have let him take me out of the game. I was gassed. I’d rather give Koji a clean inning to work with rather than pull me in an inning with a runner on second base.”

If that’s the case, it makes Clay’s performance more impressive. He’s shown on more than one occasion this season that he’s capable of these types of performances. He just needs to do it a little more consistently.