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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox rotation has gotten off to a surprisingly strong start in 2021. That was without the staff’s ace, who is now set to return.

On Thursday afternoon, the Red Sox announced they’ve activated starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez from the injured list. Rodriguez was placed on the IL in late March after experiencing a case of ‘dead arm’ in his final Spring Training start.

Before the injury, Rodriguez was slated to be the team’s Opening Day starter. He had a dominant spring, with a 3-0 record, 2.63 ERA, and 0.95 WHIP in 13.2 innings over fours starts. Making that stat line even more impressive is the fact that Rodriguez hadn’t pitched since 2019, after health conditions resulting from COVID-19 held him out for all of 2020.

Rodriguez will make his first start of the season Thursday afternoon, when the Red Sox visit the Orioles for Baltimore’s home opener. In order to make room for Rodriguez on the roster, the Red Sox optioned Tanner Houck to Triple-AAA Worcester on Wednesday.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.