Rodriguez Dazzles in ML Debut
By Peter Santo
The last few weeks have been mostly miserable for Red Sox Nation. Hanley Ramirez has stopped hitting since his torrid April and David Ortiz is barely a replacement level hitter in 2015. Ramirez and Rusney Castillo have been defensive train wrecks in the outfield and Mookie Betts is currently hitting .250. The weekend of Mike Napoli gave Sox nation some hope, but that hope was promptly taken away with a 3 game sweep in Minnesota.
The pitching has been even worse than advertised, with no member of the opening day rotation sporting an ERA under 4. Clay Buchholz, the supposed leader of the staff, has been downright awful. And new 96 million dollar man Rick Porcello has continued the woes that plagued him at the end of 2014. Red Sox fans were searching for a glimmer of hope, and they finally got it in the form of one Eduardo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was acquired last year in the trade that sent current Yankees closer Andrew Miller to the Orioles. The trade was seen as a steal for the Red Sox as Rodriguez was viewed as too high caliber of a prospect for the Orioles to exchange for what ended up being half a season of Miller.
Rodriguez threw 7.2 innings of three hit ball with 7 Ks last night against the red hot Texas Rangers. Rodriguez was supposed to return to the minors following last night’s start, however his performance has made that move sound crazy. Ben Cherington and John Farrell are fighting for their jobs, and they are searching for someone that will make them look like geniuses.
Farrell and Cherington have continued to stick to their guns and drive home the point that they do not need an ace to compete. However, that does not seem to be the case, even in the dreadful AL East. It was nearing the point of no return for the Red Sox, Phillies scouts were seen scouting Red Sox minor leaguers last week, it appeared as if the club was going to need to tip their hand and trade for Cole Hamels.
Could Rodriguez be the savior that Cherington and Farrell have been hoping for all along? The guy that will make them look like geniuses for not overpaying for a stud pitcher like Hamels.
I have mixed feelings towards a potential Hamels trade. I do not value the young prospects as highly as the Red Sox do, I think trading prospects for surefire results is always the better option, so I support a Hamels trade in that regard. However Hamels, having spent his entire career to date in the NL, would have a difficult time transitioning to the much tougher American League. While there is something to be said for Hamels being more motivated if he is traded to a contender, the Red Sox aren’t much better than the Phillies at this point.
Will Rodriguez become the next Red Sox ace? Will management have no choice but to trade for Hamels in a last ditch effort to save the season? Only time will tell.