Red Sox LHP Rodriguez in Boston in step toward returning

BOSTON (AP) — Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez, who had been the team’s likely opening day starter before testing positive for COVID-19, is in Boston and making progress toward working out with the team, manager Ron Roenicke said Friday.

Reliever Darwinzon Hernandez has also arrived in town, Roenicke said.

“They still need to go through some things before we get them on the field. But it’s good to see them out there,” Roenicke said. “The information Eddie has given to us is that he has still been throwing quite a bit. … I know sometimes players think they can come back faster than they can. We’ll get a read on it.”

Reliever Josh Taylor also tested positive, but he was already in Boston. The three players had been placed on the injured list while isolating away from the team. Protocols require a player to test negative twice, 24 hours apart, be asymptomatic and complete an antibody test before he can be cleared by team physicians.

The Red Sox are scheduled to open the season on July 24 against the Baltimore Orioles. If Rodríguez is unavailable, the first game could fall to Nathan Eovaldi.

Also Friday, the Red Sox added nine players to the pool and assigned them to their alternate training site in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. They are: infielder Jeter Downs, outfielder Jarren Duran, first baseman Josh Ockimey, catcher Jhonny Pereda, right-handers R.J. Alvarez, Tanner Houck and Bryan Mata, and lefties Jay Groome and Bobby Poyner.

Four other players were reassigned to Pawtucket: righties Mike Shawaryn and Domingo Tapia, lefty Mike Kickham, and catcher Connor Wong.

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