E-Rod not rejoining Tigers due to personal matters

Detroit Tigers

DETROIT — The Tigers placed Opening Day starter Eduardo Rodriguez on the restricted list Monday.

“Eduardo Rodriguez has informed the club that due to personal matters he will not rejoin the team at this time,” general manager Al Avila said in a statement. “As a result, Eduardo has been placed on the restricted list until further notice.”

No further details were provided by the team.

“I’ve been in touch with Eduardo,” manager A.J. Hinch said, “and I’m looking forward to his return, whenever that is, continue to support him. Al’s statement is Al’s statement.”

Rodriguez had been on the 15-day injured list since suffering a left rib cage strain in his May 18 start at Tampa Bay. The left-hander seemed poised for a return after throwing four scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in a rehab start at Triple-A Toledo last Thursday. However, Hinch announced Sunday that Rodriguez wouldn’t be rejoining the Tigers rotation yet.

“The restricted list part is the relationship with the player and the organization,” Hinch said. “I knew he wasn’t going to make his [next] start, and he wasn’t going to pitch in the Minor Leagues or the Major Leagues at this time. So this was inevitable.”

By rule, players placed on the restricted list do not receive their salary, nor do they count against the 25- or 40-man rosters. The Tigers signed Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million contract last November, a deal that includes a player opt-out clause after two seasons.

Rodriguez is one of several Tigers from the season-opening rotation who currently aren’t available. Casey Mize is slated to undergo Tommy John surgery in the coming days. Matt Manning has just restarted his throwing program after being sidelined with shoulder inflammation. Michael Pineda fractured his right middle finger on a comebacker in a May 14 start and is working his way back, having thrown a full bullpen session Monday.

With all the absences, the Tigers have relied on rookies Alex Faedo and Beau Brieske in the rotation for the last couple months alongside third-year starter Tarik Skubal and former Rule 5 Draft pick Rony Garcia. The 26-year-old Faedo, a 2017 first-round Draft pick who just returned from Tommy John surgery, is the oldest starter in the group.

With Rodriguez not available, the Tigers are planning on using a procession of relievers in a bullpen start Tuesday against the White Sox and Sunday against Texas. They could go with a four-man rotation after that thanks to scheduled off-days on their upcoming three-city road trip.

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