The Red Sox have officially activated Eduardo Rodriguez for his much-anticipated first start of the 2021 season, the team announced. He will take the hill for Thursday’s ballgame against Baltimore. Rodriguez, of course, will make his first start since 2019 after missing last season due to myocarditis brought on by COVID-19. He began this season on the injured list because of elbow inflammation.
It’s somewhat appropriate that Rodriguez be able to make his return against the Orioles, with whom he spent many of his development years. He came to the Red Sox in a deadline deal for Andrew Miller in July 2014 and made his debut for the Red Sox the following season. Of course, he’s been a key piece of their rotation ever since.
The corresponding roster move was made Wednesday when Tanner Houck was optioned to Boston’s alternate training site. He appeared in two games, starting one, totaling six innings. He gave up two earned runs on seven hits but also managed an impressive 10:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Houck will almost certainly be back this season, potentially as early as next week as the Red Sox kick off a 16-game stretch without a day off, beginning this Saturday.