DETROIT — The Tigers placed Opening Day starter Eduardo Rodriguez on the shortlist on Monday.
“Eduardo Rodriguez has informed the club that due to personal issues he will not be joining the team at this time,” general manager Al Avila said in a statement. “As a result, Eduardo has been placed on the shortlist until further notice.”
No other details were provided by the team.
“I’ve been in contact with Eduardo,” manager AJ Hinch said, “and I look forward to his return, whenever, please continue to support him. Al’s statement is Al’s statement. .
Rodriguez had been on the disabled list for 15 days since sustaining a sprained left rib cage when he left Tampa Bay on May 18. The southpaw looked set for a comeback after pitching four scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in a rehab start at Triple-A Toledo last Thursday. However, Hinch announced on Sunday that Rodriguez would not yet join the Tigers rotation.
“The part of the shortlist 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 that time. So it was inevitable.
As a general rule, players placed on the shortlist do not receive their salaries, nor do they count towards rosters of 25 or 40 players. The Tigers signed Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million deal last November, a deal that includes a player release clause after two seasons.
Rodriguez is one of several Tigers in the season-opening rotation who are currently unavailable. Casey Mize is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in the coming days. Matt Manning has just returned to his throwing program after being sidelined with shoulder inflammation. Michael Pineda fractured his right middle finger during a comeback on a May 14 start and is working his way up, having kicked off a full bullpen session on Monday.
With all the absences, the Tigers have relied on rookies Alex Faedo and Beau Brieske in the rotation for the past two months alongside third-year starter Tarik Skubal and former Rule 5 draft pick Rony Garcia. Faedo, 26, a 2017 first-round pick who just returned from Tommy John surgery, is the oldest starter in the group.
With Rodriguez unavailable, the Tigers plan to use a motorcade at a bullpen Tuesday against the White Sox and Sunday against Texas. They could then opt for a four-man rotation thanks to scheduled rest days on their upcoming three-city road trip.