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Eduardo Rodriguez’s right knee back in news thanks to Winter Ball injury

12.28.16 at 1:11 pm ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Eduardo Rodriguez (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Blame the World Baseball Classic.

According to the Boston Globe, Eduardo Rodriguez “tweaked” the same right knee that made the Red Sox’ pitcher miss the first two months of 2016 while pitching for Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League. Rodriguez reportedly left after the first inning after feeling discomfort in the knee.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told the Globe in an email, “He tweaked his knee last night pitching. It doesn’t appear to be anything serious.”

The reason Rodriguez has been participating in the winter league was to prepare for the upcoming WBC, with the lefty slated to play for his native Venezuela.

Considering Rodriguez was coming off a season that was curtailed due to both the knee injury suffered in spring training, and a hamstring ailment, it appeared a questionable decision to jump-start his offseason training with the winter ball stint.

It will be interesting to see if the setback gives Rodriguez second thoughts about playing in the WBC. Considering he will be in competition for a spot in the starting rotation — with Rodriguez, Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz all positioning for two spots — it would seem to behoove the 23-year-old to play on the cautious side and remain with the Red Sox throughout the entirety of spring training.

Rodriguez made 20 starts for the Red Sox in 2016, totaling a 4.71 ERA. He did post a 3.24 ERA in his final 14 starts after returning from the minor leagues.

Should Eduardo Rodriguez play in the World Baseball Classic?

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