Boston Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodríguez will miss the rest of the 2020 season as he recovers from a heart issue the team believes is related to the pitcher’s recent battle with the coronavirus.
The 27-year-old left-hander, the team’s presumptive No 1 starter who had been expected to start on opening day before he was sidelined, has been diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that has been found at a high rate in recovered coronavirus patients.
Rodríguez tested positive for the virus before flying to Boston for an abbreviated training camp in early July, describing symptoms including headaches, nausea and a high fever. After recovering and joining the club, he was diagnosed with the temporary ailment.
“We are confident that he’s going to make a full recovery and that his longterm prognosis is excellent, but the fact of the matter is there’s just just not enough time left this season to safely ramp him back up to pitching,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said.
Rodriguez had said last Sunday that his doctors told him that 10-20% of people who have had Covid-19 also have been diagnosed with myocarditis.
“That’s the most important part of your body, so when you hear that, the first time I hear it was kind of scared a little,’’ Rodriguez said. “Now that I know what it is, it’s still scary, but I know exactly what it is. Just talk to my mom, talk to my wife, they know what I have and everything. Now we just gotta take the rest. That’s hard, but you gotta take a rest.”
The Venezuela native is coming off his best major league campaign. Rodriguez posted a 19-6 record with a 3.81 ERA in 2019 and set career highs in wins, ERA, innings (203 1/3), starts (34) and strikeouts (213).
The announcement from the Red Sox came hours after the coronavirus forced baseball’s 17th postponement in 10 days on Saturday, prompting at least two more players to opt out of the season entirely and casting doubt the league can complete the truncated season it started less than two weeks ago.