Detroit Tigers pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez off to a roaring start.
The big and exciting news in the baseball world is that Spring Training is upon us. Fans of their respective ballclubs get excited about the new season as players report to camp and get things underway ahead of the 2023 season.
Detroit Tigers left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez is off to a heck of a start to begin the 2023 season. Even though it's Spring Training and things have not officially started, he has failed to show up on time for the team's camp in Lakeland, Florida.
Rodriguez is slated to play in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, representing Venezuela with Miguel Cabrera. That said, he was supposed to report to Lakeland on Monday for camp, and come Tuesday, he has still yet to show up to the facility.
While he may be in contact with the organization, from the outside looking in, it's not a good start to 2023 for Rodriguez. Especially after 2022, where he missed almost the entirety of the summer while going missing in action from the Tigers organization, even severing contact with the team at one point.
It was an absurd turn of events as Rodriguez has some family matters to attend to, as was later disclosed, but the Tigers have to be a bit concerned with this moving forward. After all, he's signed to a five-year, $77 million contract after former General Manager (GM) Al Avila dished out the money before 2022.
He's only in year two of this deal, and it's not great for him to be missing in action from training camp through the first two days. Even with him being slated for competition in the WBC, you would think that Rodriguez would show up to do whatever the Tigers ask of him before the WBC.
Then again, he missed 94 days between starts, not seeing the field from mid-May to mid-August. So, this could be a storyline to follow as the spring unfolds.
Rodriguez's first year with the Tigers saw him make 17 starts amid his summer break. He pitched to a 4.05 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP while walking 34 and striking out 72 opposing hitters over 91.0 innings pitched in 2022.
The way things stand, Rodriguez is very unofficially slated to be the team's number-one starter heading into 2023. While this could very quickly change, the next best options are Spencer Turnbull, who's healthy but has not pitched in a big-league game since 2021, or Matthew Boyd, who threw all of 13.1 innings in 2022 after returning from flexor tendon surgery.
Needless to say, this is something to keep an eye on. Hopefully, it's nothing more than a simple overreaction.