Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez, a 19-game winner last season, is still recovering from COVID-19 and has yet to participate in workouts as the Red Sox prepare for their season opener next Friday. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox have placed left-handers Eduardo Rodríguez, Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez on the injured list while they recover from COVID-19.

Rodríguez won 19 games last year and had been the team’s likely opening day starter.

Although all three pitchers would be eligible to be activated as soon as they have cleared the protocol, they have not been able to participate in team workouts and would need time to prepare for the season. A player must test negative twice at least 24 hours apart and show no symptoms of the disease.

Without Rodríguez at least for the first time through the rotation, Nathan Eovaldi is expected to start against the Baltimore Orioles in the July 24 opener.

• The Red Sox are closing in on an agreement with right-handed pitcher Zack Godley, according to a baseball source. Boston immediately started pursuing Godley after he was released by the Tigers on Monday.

The deal is not done, a source cautioned, but the Red Sox have emerged as the clear favorite to sign Godley.

If the deal is finalized, Godley would join the competition for Boston’s open back-end rotation spots. With Chris Sale out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez temporarily sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19, the Red Sox have two open spots in their rotation and are considering Brian Johnson, Chris Mazza, Matt Hall, Jeffrey Springs and others with 10 days to go before Opening Day.

Godley, a 30-year-old right-hander, was a member of the Diamondbacks’ rotation in 2017 and 2018, posting a 4.10 ERA over 57 starts in those two seasons. He struggled at the beginning of last season, leading Arizona to designate him for assignment in early August. The Blue Jays claimed him off waivers in early August and he threw 16 relief innings for Toronto down the stretch, posting a 3.94 ERA and 12 strikeouts.

Godley signed a minor-league deal with Detroit in December and was in camp on a deal that could have paid him up to $3 million if all incentives were reached. The Tigers, who weren’t planning on having Godley on their Opening Day roster, cut him to allow him to latch on with another club before Opening Day.

Godley’s major-league track record would seem to give him a slight upper hand in the Red Sox rotation competition, though Manager Ron Roenicke and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom would obviously want to see him in camp before making a decision. On Sunday, Roenicke said he believed the Sox were looking at acquiring starting pitching via free agency or trade.

“It’s hard to say that you’d ever feel really comfortable with all the starting pitching that you have,” Roenicke said during a Zoom call. “Rarely do you have six, seven, eight starters that you feel great about. And you know you’re not going to just use five guys. That just doesn’t happen in today’s game. So you’re never comfortable with enough starters.”

METS: Jacob deGrom averted a serious scare when an MRI showed nothing to be concerned about, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no immediate announcement on deGrom’s medical condition was planned. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was sent for tests after exiting an intrasquad game early with tightness in his back.

Mets Manager Luis Rojas said a frustrated deGrom left Tuesday night’s camp outing after only one inning at Citi Field. He is day to day.

The Mets already are minus No. 2 starter Noah Syndergaard, who will miss the entire season following Tommy John surgery.

CUBS: First baseman Anthony Rizzo had an MRI that showed rib-head inflammation on his left side that is causing back spasms – a condition he has dealt with before in his career.

“Frustrating, just because how physically in shape I felt like I was coming in,” Rizzo said. “Just can’t control the flareups. The MRI getting kind of what we knew, just confirming it. Just kind of getting it to calm down and get back out there as fast as I can.”

Rizzo is considered day to day, and Manager David Ross said it’s still early to talk about him beginning the 60-game season on the injured list. Rizzo said he doesn’t think he will need to go on the IL.

“You just play the risk-reward right now,” he said. “We know how important every game is, so for me personally I’m going to be pushing to get back as fast as I can and take the risk because the reward of being with the guys and playing alongside of them is worth it for me.”

YANKEES: Right fielder Aaron Judge played in an intrasquad game after missing five days because of a stiff neck, and homered to center field on the second pitch from James Paxton, who was pitching his first intrasquad game following back surgery on Feb. 5.

Giancarlo Stanton also homered against Paxton in the first inning.

Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled for a bullpen session Thursday, his first action since he was struck on the head by a liner off the bat of Stanton on July 4.

RANGERS: Willie Calhoun is expected to miss the start of the season because of a hip strain, a setback for the left fielder who was ready to play after recovering from a broken jaw sustained in a spring training game more than four months ago.

ORIOLES: Outfielder Anthony Santander confirmed he missed the start of summer camp because he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Orioles have not disclosed any positive tests since opening camp on July 3. Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. remains absent, and Manager Brandon Hyde again refused Wednesday to explain why.

Santander suited up for the first time Tuesday and went through a rigorous workout in an effort to make up for lost time. He is hoping to be part of the starting lineup when Baltimore opens at Boston on July 24.

“Now I’m healthy and not contagious. Happy to be back on the field with my teammates,” Santander said in a Zoom call Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to the season.”

Santander said he tested positive when he reported to camp early this month. He had been in Florida before coming to Baltimore.

“This was something serious,” he said. “Thank God I had only mild symptoms.”


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