Eddie Rodriguez might just be the Red Sox top young arm slated to contribute this season. But the chances he is available to crack the Opening Day roster are dwindling.
A couple weeks back, he dislocated his kneecap shagging fly balls in the outfield and still, he is walking with a limp. There is a real chance that he starts the season on the disabled list. It may be unfortunate for him, but for someone else (Henry Owens presumably), this injury could lead to a major opportunity.
If Rodriguez does start the season on the DL, Owens would be a viable arm to take his spot in the rotation for however long the Red Sox need him. The tall lefty lacks an overpowering fastball and struggles with command at times, but his offspeed stuff is sharp and generates plenty of whiffs.
He went 4-4 with a 4.57 ERA last season. But he was not too consistent. He had a few outings where he was lit up like a Christmas tree. And then there were other times where he was lights out.
Even so, Owens is a young pitcher who had just started developing his slider earlier in the year — a pitch that should be huge for him as he continues to work with it.
This could be an opportunity for Owens to snag a spot in the rotation for good if he looks strong enough and someone else struggles a lot. But no matter what, Rodriguez should be back in the rotation. With options and what not, Joe Kelly should really be the only one sweating this since he is the only one of the other four starters who could possibly be optioned.
Most likely, no matter how Owens does, he’d likely be optioned just because baseball is such a numbers game.
If he is up, he can only pray his team will stop bullying him:
There is also the (less likely) possibility that Brian Johnson takes hold of the five spot…