The Detroit Tigers went out and spent “big money” on Eduardo Rodríguez this offseason. They locked up the left-handed starting pitcher to a five-year, $77 million deal to join the Tigers rotation. Since then, he has made eight starts before going silent and stepping away from the team for a month.
It was a weird absence for the Detroit Tigers to handle, but he has since re-engaged in contact with the organization, working back towards a return to the mound. It was announced that he would make a rehab start this weekend and continue to push towards a return in a Tigers uniform.
It will take some time for Rodríguez to get back to the rotation, which raises a few questions. What is Rodríguez going to bring to the Tigers' already lackluster rotation? Do the risks outweigh the rewards of throwing Rodríguez back out there? Is it worth sitting Rodríguez out of the remainder of the season, or is it a waste of money?
The Tigers have performed extremely poorly in 2022, and getting Rodríguez back should provide a boost for the starting rotation, but does that even matter at this point? There are a lot of questions, so let's try and find some clarity in regards to Rodríguez.
Detroit Tigers' Eduardo Rodríguez is slated to return to the mound in 2022.
Rodríguez has made eight starts for the Tigers in 2022. He's accumulated 39 innings pitched, producing a 4.38 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP while also picking up 34 punchouts. The southpaw has not been on the mound since his last start on May 18th.
That being said, it'll likely be over two months from one start to the next. With the season coming to a close on October 5th, there is time to get him back on the mound. Here's the thing… is Rodríguez being back in the rotation going to be some massive momentum shifter? No.
Rodríguez is getting $15.4 million a season to be in the Tigers rotation, so ensuring he gets some innings is going to be important. While it does not matter too much how he performs at this point in the Tigers season, getting him rehabbed and back in the rotation is important.
With his rehab start planned for this weekend, the organization has a plan in place to get him back on the mound. With less pressure, it could be an easy and smooth transition back to the mound for the lefty. It's one of those things where his return will bring another solid left-handed pitcher to the organization at the very least.
I'd expect Eduardo Rodríguez to be just fine as he returns to the mound. It's going to be a low-pressure end to the season. So I would expect Rodríguez to have a prolonged path back to business. While he will get back to the big leagues before the end of the season, he will be able to work through a few “abbreviated” starts of 3-4 innings, even with the Tigers in a bullpen-like game.
At this point, the Tigers winning and losing will not matter for the 2022 season. At the same time, it will put fans into a furthered state of anger with angst towards Al Avila. That said, Rodríguez will be able to get back on track and finish the 2022 season on a high note.