Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez out for 2020 season due to COVID 19-related heart issue

The Boston Red Sox announced that left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez will not play in 2020 as he recovers from a heart issue related to COVID-19.

Rodriguez was one of four Red Sox players to test positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of summer camp. He was expected to be the team’s opening day starter with Chris Sale out following Tommy John surgery, but was unable to return after experiencing complications.

The 27-year-old veteran later revealed he was diagnosed with myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle.

“The heart is the most important part of your body,” Rodriguez said following his diagnosis, courtesy of Mass Live. “So when you hear that — the first time that I heard it — I was kind of scared. Now that I know what it is, it’s still scary. But now I know exactly what it is.”

Despite the scary diagnosis, Rodriguez was still determined to pitch this season if allowed.

"I want to be pitching yesterday, the day before, or today," he told WEEI’s Rob Bradford this week. "I want to be out there every time I can, so I'm never thinking of getting out of the season. I feel bad every time I see a game happening and I'm not even in the dugout."

Unfortunately, the doctors did not see enough improvement to clear him following tests that were conducted on Friday.

‘Sickest I’ve ever felt’

According to Rodriguez, his experience with COVID-19 has been rough since the beginning.

When the symptons first hit on July 19, he says it’s the sickest he’s ever felt in his life.

“I felt like I was 100 years old. My body was tired all the time. Throwing up. Headaches. Like I said, all the symptoms,” Rodriguez says.

It’s a troubling reminder of how dangerous COVID-19 can be for people of all ages. There’s a misconception that only elderly people are at a higher risk of complications or worse. But Rodriguez’s experience shows us how serious it can be for everyone.

It’s also a concerning development for Major League Baseball. While commissioner Rob Manfred says the league is determined to play on, one has to wonder if stories like Rodriguez’s will start weighing on player’s minds if another outbreak takes place. We’ve already seen Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain opt out Saturday after the Miami Marlins’ and St. Louis Cardinals’ positive tests. Chances are he won’t be the last.

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