With nine days remaining before the Red Sox kick off this shortened 60-game season against the Orioles, there are still major questions for the team’s pitching staff. For the start of the year at least, they will be missing three key arms from that group. The team announced on Wednesday that Eduardo Rodriguez, Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Taylor have each been placed on the injured list.
The #RedSox have placed left-handed pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez, Josh Taylor, and Darwinzon Hernandez on the injured list.— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 15, 2020
It is notable that the tweet above does not disclose what has put them on the injured list, though in this case it is not really a mystery. Earlier in camp, Ron Roenicke (with the players’ permission) indicated that all three had tested positive for COVID-19. All are still waiting for consecutive negative tests that are required to join the team. With such little time remaining, it would be impossible for them to return and have enough time to be ready for the start of the season.
The good news on this front is that all three are reportedly trending in the right direction. I have mentioned before that it is strange talking about players who have tested positive in baseball terms, and I’ll mention again that while these three are reportedly recovering well, we still should not be glib about their positive tests. We still do not know the long-term effects of this virus. Beyond their recovery and what it means to help the Red Sox, it goes without saying that we hope they recover well personally.
That being said, we are in the awkward position of having to talk about what it means from a baseball sense as well, and clearly not having any of these three pitchers to start the year is a bad thing for the Red Sox. Eduardo Rodriguez was supposed to be the team’s ace this season while Hernandez and Taylor were two of the team’s top five relievers on the depth chart. It’s unclear right now how long the team can expect to be without these three southpaws.