Eduardo Rodriguez began throwing in the fall and said he is 100 percent as spring training gets underway. The Red Sox starter missed the shortened 2020. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez said he feels 100% and he’s ready for a normal workload of 30 or more starts in 2021.

“That’s what I was working (on) this offseason,” Rodriguez said Friday during a Zoom call. “Working on getting my body ready, get my mind ready, get everything ready; my conditioning, everything. I was working on that to get ready to get here and be available to go out there every five days. Be available to throw 34, 30-plus starts. I feel in that position right now. I feel stronger right now. I feel better. My shoulder is good. Threw a bullpen a couple days ago and it feels fine. It feels great. So I feel ready.”
Rodriguez did not pitch in 2020 because of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), which he was diagnosed with after having COVID-19.

“I think everybody’s in the same boat,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said. “He went through the whole process last year and he got clearance to do everything. He’s been working hard since October or even before. He’s in a good spot. As always, we’re preparing for 162 games. So if it’s Eduardo, Garrett (Richards), Nate (Eovaldi), doesn’t matter. We will take care of them. It was a shorter season (in 2020). So there’s a lot of unknown. Actually, a lot of people think because it was a short season, guys won’t be able to go to 100 innings. We don’t know. This is the first time it happened. These are professional athletes, elite athletes.”

Cora said he’s not ready to limit Rodriguez or anyone else to a maximum number of innings such as 100 just because they had smaller workloads or didn’t pitch last year.

“I don’t think it’s fair for them,” Cora said. “We’ll get together with the training staff and the doctors, sports science, and obviously with the player and we will decide what we’re going to do with them.”

Rodriguez said he feels the normal way he does when he typically arrives at spring training. He said he ran a lot and conditioned to prevent fatigue during starts.

Rodriguez also was asked about the potential of a six-man rotation. Some teams are considering six-man rotations to lessen workloads after just a 60-game season last year.

“I like to go out there every five days,” Rodriguez said. “But they have a decision. If they’re going to do it like that, then we’re gonna follow it and do it like that. Anything that helps us to get to the playoffs and win a World Series, I’m going to follow.”

Rodriguez began throwing during the fall. He was unable to participate in any physical activity while he had myocarditis.

The lefty was Boston’s top starting pitcher in 2019. He finished sixth in the American League Cy Young voting. He went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 34 starts.
Rodriguez posted frequent updates about his progress during the offseason on Instagram.

“As far as the usage, we have to pay attention,” Cora said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to slow him down. Obviously the way he reacts is going to let us know how much we give him or if we have to slow him down. So far, so good.”

Rodriguez is eligible for free agency after the 2021 season.

“I’m not thinking about any of that right now,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just thinking about getting to pitch this season.”


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