Rodriguez, 24, came to Atlanta as one of the thirteen players to change hands in this summer’s three-team swap with the Dodgers and Marlins. While Hector Olivera headlined that deal, the young southpaw looked like a useful secondary piece.
Since moving quickly to the big leagues, Rodriguez has thrown 85 1/3 innings of 2.53 ERA ball, with 9.6 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9. Those results aren’t a mirage, either, as all the major ERA estimators see him as a sub-3.00 performer during his time in the big leagues.
But Rodriguez hasn’t thrown since joining the Braves. That was expected, to a degree, as he was coming off of surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow and was set to miss eight to ten weeks.
Still, there is no indication that Atlanta anticipated it would lose Rodriguez for all of next year when it added him. Assuming he spends 2016 on the 60-day DL, Rodriguez will head into 2017 with 3.120 years of service and will reach arbitration eligibility before he ever takes the mound in a big league game for the Braves. On the positive side, the team should have plenty of time to evaluate the progress of his elbow before making a decision.