FORT MYERS, Fla. — Before joining a pingpong game in which he displayed sure-footed lateral motion, a high spin rate on his serve and a wicked backhand, Eduardo Rodriguez agreed with the opinion that his confidence about being a force on the pitching mound this season is running strong.

“Way better,” said Rodriguez. “You’ll see. You’ll see this year – then you’re going to tell me how I made it look easy!”

There’s nothing easy about maintaining the health of any starter for an entire season, as Rodriguez, the rest of the Boston Red Sox starters and the casual baseball fan could tell you.

Despite the possibility that Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright – the bottom half of the rotation – could start the season on the disabled list, the shroud of uneasiness that hung over this team one year ago is absent this March.

That one of the team’s aces, David Price, was down and out last year and Pomeranz was on a slow track helped fuel the 2017 spring training perception, wrong as it was in terms of sheer numbers. The rotation wound up being a strength last year, despite Price being almost a complete non-factor.

The Red Sox had the depth in numbers by the time the season ended, although the best performer, Chris Sale, was running on fumes once the playoffs arrived.

This spring, the looseness and positivity emanating from Sale, Price and Rick Porcello has been well-documented, with the club bending over backward to ease its Big Three into the regular season to get the best out of them for not only six regular season months but the seventh month in October.

It takes more than three to make a rotation, of course, but the sense of doom and gloom has evaporated even though Rodriguez, Pomeranz and Wright all are on the sidelines for now.

Their injuries appear to minor. Their future is bright.

The rotation depth is not here at the moment, but it’s on order.

Rodriguez threw his first live batting practice session since undergoing surgery to stabilize his wobbly right knee in the offseason. He will throw another on Thursday before a more regular throwing regimen will begin. It may not end in time for the season’s start, but Rodriguez and Manager Alex Cora feel good that once he comes back, he’ll stay back.

“It was huge for him,” Cora said about Rodriguez’ session on Field One behind JetBlue Park in Dunedin, Florida. “Like I said before, coming into camp, or actually talking to him in December, I was like, well it’s going to take a while for him to get on the mound. But props for him. He’s been amazing. He’s been in the weight room and the training room just going through his craft, and for him to be on the mound, excellent.”

Rodriguez made no effort to play it cool with how excellent he felt.

“I threw pretty good (for the) first time facing hitters, I was testing everything that I could throw,” said Rodriguez. “I threw all my pitches, everything was good and I’m ready for the next test.”

Pomeranz had a positive bullpen session in which he threw only fastballs as he continues to take small steps to returning from the forearm tightness that forced him out of his first start of the season at the beginning of March.

Pomeranz said he felt fine afterwards and that he has been able to maintain strength in his throwing arm, even if he did not know exactly what the club had in store for him next.

The club’s medical staff will confer with the training staff to come up with a plan.

Whether that plan stretches into early April, the earliest Pomeranz could pitch, is a mystery, but the club doesn’t sound worried. Whenever it happens, it should not be too long from now.

“We’ll have to wait and see – for how good or bad they feel, for me it’s just, I’m not going to push (Pomeranz) just to push him,” said Cora. “We understand it’s 162 games. Yeah, people say, the games count the same in April as in late September, but want them healthy and be who they are the majority of the season. So, that’s the most important thing, and that’s why you take it on a daily basis with them and we keep adding stuff or subtracting stuff from their programs.”

And with Wright feeling good Monday after a strenuous workout the day before, Cora seemed nonplussed about Wright, Rodriguez and Pomeranz headed toward the DL. They are headed in the right direction, so roster status is not the point, he said.

“There might be a chance, maybe, maybe not, it’s just a matter of how it goes this week with them,” said Cora about the chance all three begin on the DL,” said Cora, pointing to Wright’s progress as being so key. “Eddy, obviously, for me, you’ve got to be patient still. For the pitcher he is and what he’s been going through the past few years, we have to make sure he’s where he should be, and like I said before, he’s been amazing. With Drew, we’ll see. It’s a day-by-day basis.”

It’s all day to day. This spring, the Red Sox’ rotation certainly is, too.

Their day will be here soon.

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