Eduardo Rodriguez

Wednesday's Red Sox-Marlins matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Adam Conley

August 12, 2015 - 4:37 am
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The Red Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound Wednesday for what could be one of his last starts of the season against fellow rookie Adam Conley and the Marlins. The 22-year-old Rodriguez has dazzled at times in 2015, posting a 6-4 record and 4.17 ERA. He's logged quality starts in eight of his 13 outings, four of which have produced game scores of 70 or higher, more than stars like Stephen Strasburg (one) and James Shields (two). He's been nothing but a breath of fresh air among other, more pedestrian veteran rotation mates. However, Rodriguez is just a rookie. He represents a young arm whose future is more valuable to the Red Sox than they ever could have imagined after watching a comedy of errors strike their pitching staff in 2015. With that in mind, his season could be coming to close if the Red Sox give him an innings limit. Red Sox pitching coach Carl Willis discussed the idea with WEEI.com's Rob Bradford in mid-July. "We've looked into it, really just scratching the surface, looking at his innings, looking at the schedule going forward to kind of be prepared when that time starts to present itself," Willis said. "Knowing how to manage it, whether it be moving him back in the rotation, or utilizing off days. "Obviously how we're playing as a club factors in, but the most important part of the equation is Eddie and keeping him going through the end of the season, wanting him to pitch through to the end. Collectively John [Farrell], myself, Ben [Cherington], we'll look at that. But his best interest takes precedence." Innings limit or not, Rodriguez has proven he belongs in the bigs for good with each successive start this season. After becoming prone to pitch-tipping by his fourth major league start, Rodriguez dealt with the issue over a month-long span, displaying a veteran approach to adversity. Since addressing the problem for good with his July 26 start against the Tigers, he's gone 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings, boasting a .205 opponent average. Rodriguez's latest start was especially impressive. Pitching at Yankee Stadium last Thursday, he hurled 103 pitches, making his way through the seventh inning while allowing just two runs. Though he received a loss in the 2-1 affair, Rodriguez silenced the Yanks' big bats, providing a glimpse into the future of a potential ace in an offensive-minded AL East. The Marlins only hope they have Rodriguez's NL equivalent in Conley. Conley, a former second-round draft pick just like Tuesday's starter Justin Nicolino, has spent August as a relief pitcher for his club. In three appearances this month, he's gone 7 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and four runs. Conley (1-0, 4.05 ERA) made his first career major league start on July 11 against the Reds. He went five innings, allowing five hits and two runs and taking the victory in a rare 14-3 Marlins rout. During the outing, he only threw 74 pitches, but he located them effectively drawing 12 strikes looking. Following his relief appearance on Aug. 1, Conley stated that he's simply trying to control what he can control in terms of his future with the club. "I don't know what kind of opportunity I'll have or how much time or whatever," he said. "I'm not going to focus too much on that, but just on doing my job and helping these guys out up here and kind of letting the rest take care of itself." Conley will get the chance to show his mettle Wednesday in a favorable situation at a sizable Marlins Park. Red Sox vs. Conley (LHP) No Red Sox have faced Conley. Marlins vs. Rodriguez (LHP) No Marlins have faced Rodriguez.

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