BOSTON — Eduardo Rodriguez, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, will sit out the 2020 baseball season due to coronavirus-related concerns.
The 27-year-old received a positive COVID-19 test on July 7 before the Sox’s summer camp but was later cleared to play, WFXT-TV reported. Despite the July 18 clearance, Rodriguez hasn’t appeared in a regular season game.
The left-hander will not return for the league’s season due to a heart condition he developed after he recovered from the virus called myocarditis. Doctors advised him to rest and to not engage in activities that would cause an elevated heart rate for at least a week after his diagnosis.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that is usually due to a viral infection. The inflammation can lead to arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy or heart failure.
Rodriguez’s doctors told him that 10-20% of people who have had COVID-19 also have been diagnosed with myocarditis, the Associated Press reported.
“That’s the most important part of your body, so when you hear that, the first time I heard it, [I] was kind of scared a little,” Rodriguez said. “Now that I know what it is, it’s still scary, but I know exactly what it is ... Now we just gotta take the rest. That’s hard, but you gotta take a rest.”
Rodriguez previously said COVID-19 made him feel like he was 100 years old.
“I’ve never been that sick in my life, and I don’t want to get that sick again,” he said.
Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said Rodriguez’s “long-term prognosis is excellent.”
“We are confident that he’s going to make a full recovery” Bloom said Saturday. He noted that Rodriguez’s heart is now functioning normally, but he wasn’t able to get in proper shape before the official start of the season.
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke told reporters on July 23 that Rodriguez, who was projected to be the Red Sox’s No. 1 starter this season, was tired after throwing around 20 pitches in one workout session.
“We’re taking everything very seriously in this matter,” Roenicke said at the time. “We want to win as many ballgames as we can, but the health of our players comes first.‘'
The Associated Press contributed to this report.