‘Don’t sleep on us’: Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez has high expectations after bout with myocarditis

FORT MYERS, Fla. (WHDH) — After missing all of last year with a serious COVID-19 complication, Boston Red Sox ace pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez on Friday told reporters that he “feels great” and urged fans not to “sleep” on the new-look ballclub as they begin preparations for the upcoming season.

“I feel great, I feel 100 percent,” the left-hander said. “I feel normal…I feel the way I normally feel when I get to spring training. I would say everything is going to be fine.”

Rodriguez says he is more than grateful to be back with his teammates after he was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart caused by coronavirus.

The 27-year-old learned of his diagnosis prior to opening day in July, a game in which he was slated to start for Boston.

“I enjoy every time I go out there and every time I have the ball in my hand,” he said. “Just being here is a blessing, blessed to have the chance to be back here.”

Rodriguez is also thrilled to have Alex Cora managing the club once again.

“He’s like a father, like a brother…Sometimes I feel like his teammate,” he said.

Cora called Rodriguez “one of the best lefties in the big leagues” when asked about what his return meant for the team.

Despite a last place finish in the American League East a year ago, Rodriguez stated that he has high expectations for the 2021 club.

“I feel like we have a really good rotation. When [Chris] Sale gets back here, it’s going to be way better,” he said. “Don’t sleep on us…I’ve been out there the past three days with the guys and we look really good.”

In 2019, Rodriguez went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA across 34 starts.

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