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Eduardo Rodriguez out on paternity leave; Brian Johnson to start Tuesday

Congratulations to Rodriguez.

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

Eduardo Rodriguez is leaving to team for a few days to welcome his second child into the world. Obviously, congratulations are in order for the young lefty.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), there are people who are still upset about professional athletes taking paternity leave (I haven’t seen any in this case, to be fair), but those people are nincompoops. This is a joyous occasion for Rodriguez, and he will rightfully be with his family during this time. As Browne mentions above, Ben Taylor was on the roster to take Rodriguez’ spot on Monday.

He won’t be up for long, though, as Rodriguez was scheduled to take the mound in the series-opener in Toronto on Tuesday. Now, Brian Johnson will be the one to make that start.

There’s a few angles worth covering with this. Firstly, it sucks to be a player with options. Taylor did allow an inherited runner to score on Monday, but he has largely done the job at the major-league level this season and will once again be shipped back to Pawtucket. As I said last time he was demoted, he’ll definitely be back.

Secondly, this is a pretty remarkable story for Johnson. If you recall, he was hit in the head by a line drive just two starts ago, and now he’ll be back in the majors immediately after. That’s without even mentioning his anxiety issues from last year that he’s had to overcome. Over his first two starts in Pawtucket, he has a 1.69 ERA with 15 strikeouts and 4 walks in 10 23 innings. He’ll almost certainly only be up for one start at this juncture, but it’s great to see him back in the majors.

Finally, there is the issue of Kyle Kendrick. Coming out of spring, he seemed destined to be the first pitcher in Pawtucket to be called upon. A big part of the reason he’s not coming up right now is that he is out of options, and this is certainly just a one-start gig. The Red Sox don’t want to risk putting him through waivers just to make one start, particularly when a starter with options is going well in Pawtucket. It is also worth noting that Kendrick has struggled early on against Triple-A batters. He has a 10.38 ERA through his first two starts, although his 11/1 K/BB ratio in 13 innings suggests he’s been better than the ERA would indicate.

Either way, it’s great to see Johnson back in the majors and Rodriguez getting to spend at least a few days with his newborn child.