FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring training is here, which means all the players are in the best shape of their lives.

But really, the Boston Red Sox think it’s actually true for at least one of their players.

The first official workout for pitchers and catchers isn’t until Wednesday, but after watching some bullpen sessions on Monday morning, Red Sox Manager Alex Cora noticed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

“Eddie looks great physically,” Cora said. “Everybody is in the best shape of their life when they come to spring training, but he’s actually in the best shape of his life. For the first time in a while he was able to have a normal offseason and you can see it in his body.”

Rodriguez had dealt with issues in both of his knees in past years but the Red Sox are expecting big things from him in his fifth major league season.


Left-hander Chris Sale stretched his arm out for a throwing session Monday morning and Cora said he looked great.

The 6-foot-6 Sale checked in at 180 pounds last year but added some weight this year.

“He did it on his own,” Cora said. “He was very aggressive with his offseason workouts. We’re very pleased with the way he went about it. All of them. It’s good to see him gaining weight and throwing the ball the way he’s been throwing the last few weeks. We’re very comfortable with him.”


The starters who pitched deep into October last year aren’t expected to begin throwing in games until early-to-mid March.

“Pretty similar to what we did last year,” Cora said. “I think if I’m not mistaken Chris was the first one out there on March 14, I want to say. We just have to make sure they’re ready for the season in Seattle (on March 28). We have four games there, three in Oakland and three in Arizona so, it’s 11 games in a row. There’s going to be a sixth starter in between there just to make sure we take care of these guys. Our main goal is when March 28 rolls on, we’re ready to roll.”


Dustin Pedroia will be a hot topic this camp, but isn’t expected to arrive until Friday or Saturday.

“Well I mean he said in the (USA Today) he’s going to be the comeback player of the year,” Cora said. “He’s showing up earlier than what we expected. I told him a few months ago just be patient. He feels he’s in a good spot but we’ll see him here see how we’re going to work him. Obviously we have to take care of him but at the same time we have to push him. He’s ready to roll. He’s ready for that. Looking forward to working with him the whole spring.”

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