Bad delivery habits part of E-Rod's struggles

Bad delivery habits part of E-Rod's struggles

BOSTON -- During his lengthy recovery from a right knee injury, Eduardo Rodriguez picked up some bad delivery habits that have adversely impacted his performance since his return. This might include tipping pitches, something that hindered the lefty at times last season.

"Every pitcher has personal habits in their delivery," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "And with Eddie, there's been different things that have maybe been detected, whether by opposition, by us. It's been a little bit of a moving target, but there are some things that are clear that are there that we're continuing to work on."

After a strong first start back, Rodriguez has been hit hard in three straight outings. On Thursday, the Orioles tagged him for eight hits and five runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Does Farrell think the O's might have known what was coming in some cases?

"Just watching the video today, I'm sure there's some things that can be seen," Rodriguez said.

Following Thursday night's tough start against Baltimore, Rodriguez had a lengthy meeting with Farrell and pitching coach Carl Willis.

"Yeah, without getting into specifics, there was a lot covered in the meeting," Farrell said.

As Rodriguez was starting his comeback, he didn't have full confidence in his knee, and that likely was the cause for some delivery flaws that have occurred in the ensuing weeks.

"I think he's gotten over the physical ailment of the knee, and that's been evident by the increased power," Farrell said. "There's, I think, later action to his secondary pitches. But there are some things that he kind of evolved into because of the knee injury that if you were to compare his delivery these four starts versus the one last year, he went to more of a side step in that delivery to take some of the stress off the knee.

"We are adjusting back to the delivery he used a year ago. The fact he's passed any kind of restrictions in the knee allows him the confidence to get back in that delivery."

Rodriguez will make his next start against the White Sox on either Tuesday or Wednesday at Fenway Park.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.