There is good news and bad news surrounding Eduardo Rodriguez in Red Sox camp. The good? The swelling in his knee that kept him from throwing off a mound has gone down. The not-so-good? Rodriguez is still "unlikely" to begin the season in the Red Sox rotation, according to the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham.
Red Sox manager John Farrell warned that this was a possibility, as Boston doesn't want to rush the 23-year-old back into action. There is no reason to, given the importance of knees in the pitching process: the worst thing for both the Sox and Rodriguez would be to attempt to pitch through a knee injury, as the lefty could subconsciously or consciously alter his mechanics, leading to either a far worse injury or just poor production.
Giving Rodriguez time to ramp up and get into regular season shape makes far more sense for both sides, especially since the Sox have some pitching depth they can rely on. Henry Owens and Roenis Elias are both in camp and have been getting starts, and Steven Wright could always begin the season in the rotation instead of in the bullpen if they don't want to move either of those pitchers up and down at the start of the year.
There is also the Edwin Escobar situation to consider, as Escobar is out of options -- moving Wright to the rotation would give the Sox a little longer to find a space for Escobar instead of losing him on waivers to begin the year.
Abraham reports that Rodriguez is only scheduled for a single bullpen session at the moment, meaning the Sox will see how the lefty responds to it before committing him to further sessions. Farrell expects two bullpen sessions to be enough to prepare Rodriguez for a game, so if all goes well in that initial bullpen, he could be on a mound soon.
The other bright side of this is that Rodriguez hasn't pitched during a spring training game -- he injured his knee on February 27 -- so his eventual stint on the disabled list will be backdated to the point where he can come off the DL immediately when he's ready. So, while it's unclear if he'll need a week or two weeks or however many weeks to be ready to debut in 2016, he'll be able to do so without having to wait for anything but his own preparedness.