No one saw this one coming. Around a year ago, Tigers fans were about as fed up with Eduardo Rodriguez as a fanbase can be. After signing a five-year, 77-million-dollar deal with Detroit in the 2021 offseason, Rodriguez got off to a rough start in Detroit, then he was gone. No one has ever really confirmed why E-Rod deemed it necessary to leave the Tigers organization in the dark for three months. All we know is that it was a family matter, and while everything seems to have settled down, E-Rod's ghosting of the organization that signed him didn't win him many fans. While he did come back and put together a few good starts in the latter part of 2022, the damage had already been done.
Fast forward to 2023. The Tigers are off to a 17-19 start. That obviously isn't anything to throw a parade over, but considering where this team has been well, since I started doing videos about them, playing somewhat meaningful baseball in mid-May is a welcome change. Perhaps the number one reason why this version of the Tigers isn't nearly as insufferable as previous groups is that Eduardo Rodriguez is pitching the best baseball of his career. The age 30, the former Red Sox is in the midst of a stretch unlike anything he has ever seen, putting him at the forefront of the AL Cy Young race. He just threw seven scoreless frames on the road against the Guardians, lowering his season ERA to 1.57. His last six starts (dating back to April 12) look something like this
He's also averaging just under seven innings a start. It's no longer just a stretch of solid ball. This is pure dominance. And yes, I'm aware of what the future may hold for Eduardo Rodriguez. If this season goes the way I think it will (so far, it hasn't), E-Rod will likely be shipped for an incredible haul at the deadline. If that's the way things go, I have full faith that Scott Harris could build a solid core with the players he may acquire at the deadline. But I'm not looking that far ahead right now. This is fun. Who knows what June and July will look like? But right now, E-Rod is having a moment. And good moments are something we've been deprived of in Detroit for a long time.
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