After Eduardo Rodriguez posted phenomenal performances with the Baltimore Orioles who signed him as an international free agent in 2010, the Boston Red Sox of the Major League Baseball (MLB) wouldn’t let him go after being traded to them. They added him to their 40-man roster to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft and shortly after, Rodriguez made his MLB debut on May 28, 2015.
Here’s all you need to know about the Venezuelan left-handed pitcher who is currently in his fourth major league season.
Eduardo Rodriguez’ Biography
The Venezuelan left-hand pitcher was born on the 7th day of April 1993 in Valencia, Venezuela. Named Eduardo José Rodríguez Hernández, he is nicknamed E-Rod. He is the third of four children; two brothers (Jesus and Luis) and one sister (Abilis) born to his mother Magales and a father who works in construction. He is married to Catherine and they have two children; a daughter, Annie, and a son, Ian.
Growing up, Rodriguez was highly athletic and in his youth, he played baseball, soccer, and basketball. In each of these sports that caught his fancy as a young man, he idolized a number of players therein. His favorite pitcher was fellow countryman, Johan Santana who is also left-handed; in soccer, he idolizes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo while LeBron James is the man for him in hoops.
He is naturally right-handed but took to his left arm after he broke his right arm at the age of seven. Now, he throws and bats left-handed. Although he was good at baseball, he almost gave up on it after an unsuccessful tryout with the Detroit Tigers as a teenager. However, his mom spurred him on.
At the age of 17, he signed as an international free agent with the Baltimore Orioles in January 2010. He made his pro debut that same season in the Dominican Summer League. The following season, he played in the Gulf Coast League and New York-Penn League and in 2012, he was assigned to the Delmarva Shorebirds of the Class A South Atlantic League.
He started the 2013 season with the Frederick Keys of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League and was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox of the Eastern League in June. He also appeared in the first Futures Game for Orioles during the 2013 All-Star break, retiring all three batters he faced. Moreover, he played for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League (AFL). Prior to the 2014 season, Baseball America ranked him as the Orioles’ third-best prospect and a number of other media outlets ranked him amongst the first 70 best in baseball.
In 2014, he started in Double-A for Bowie where he had a so-so playtime before being traded to Boston Red Sox in July. He made six starts for Double-A Portland Sea Dogs of the Eastern league after joining the Red Sox. Thereafter, he joined the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox during the International League playoff series against the Durham Bulls.
Baseball America ranked Eduardo Rodriguez No. 59 prospect in baseball prior to the 2015 season. He opened the season with Pawtucket and went 4–3 with a 2.98 ERA in 8 starts.
Through his four seasons in the major league, though it was almost hampered by injury, he has compiled a record of 31-24 with 4.10 ERA, while striking out 487 and walking 172 in 495.2 innings pitched.
Eduardo Rodriguez made his MLB debut on May 28, 2015. He became the youngest Red Sox to debut since 1984 as well as the youngest Red Sox starter to win his debut on the road since 1967. By the end of the season, he has played in 21 games (all starts) and compiled a 10–6 win-loss record with 3.85 ERA, while striking out 98 and walking 37 in 121 2/3 innings pitched.
In 2016, he was beset by a knee injury and made a late start in May. In late June, he was optioned to Pawtucket after struggling through his next five starts but was recalled in mid-July. At the end of the season, Rodríguez appeared in 20 games (all starts), compiling a 3–7 record with 4.71 ERA, while striking out 100 and walking 40 in 107 innings pitched.
Though he had a difficult first start of the 2017 season, he still had his ERA at 3.10 or below for all of May. In June, he re-injured his knee and was placed on the disabled list (DL) but returned to the rotation in mid-July. He concluded the season appearing in 25 games (24 starts) and racked up a 6–7 record with 4.19 ERA while striking out 150 and walking 50 in 137 1⁄3 innings pitched. Moreover, he appeared in his first MLB postseason series in 2017 (American League Division Series).
He started the following season as a member of the starting rotation. Eduardo Rodriguez made five starts in April and by July 15, he was back on the DL with a right ankle sprain. However, he had already compiled an 11–3 record with 3.44 ERA in 104 2⁄3 innings pitched in 19 starts. In August, he went on a rehabilitation assignment with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs after which he was activated from the DL on September 1, 2018.
Height, Weight & Body Stats
The left-handed wonder also sports a statuesque physique. At a height of 6 feet, 2 inches. (1.88m), he weighs 220 lbs (91 kg).