BOSTON (CBS) — So, about that Clay Buchholz trade.

Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez had to leave his start in the Venezuela Winter League on Tuesday after suffering right knee discomfort in the first inning. It’s the same knee that Rodriguez injured at the start of Spring Training last season, an injury that pushed his season debut back to May 31. Rodriguez did not look comfortable on the mound upon his return and started with a 1-3 record and 8.39 ERA over his first seven starts. He rounded into form after a quick trip to the minors, finishing the season with a 3.24 ERA over the final three months.

In an email to The Boston Globe, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said that Rodriguez “tweaked his knee” on Tuesday but the injury “doesn’t appear to be anything serious.” The Globe’s Nick Cafardo notes that it’s unclear if Rodriguez will be shut down the rest of the way in Venezuela.

Rodriguez was set to make five starts in preparation for March’s World Baseball Classic. In his four starts for Venezuela, Rodriguez allowed four runs on 12 hits and four walks while striking out 12. Two of those runs came in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss.

If healthy, the 23-year-old Rodriguez was set to battle for a spot in the back-end of Boston’s rotation. The Red Sox’ starting pitching depth got a little slimmer earlier this month when the team traded away Clay Buchholz to the Philadelphia Phillies for a minor leaguer.

  1. All the more reason DUMBrowski should have waited until after Spring Training before dealing away Bucholz for a bucket of balls!

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