Originally acquired from the Pirates in the Antonio Bastardo trade, Rodriguez made his big league debut last season and pitched 27 innings out of the Phillies’ bullpen this year, posting a 6.33 ERA and barely more strikeouts (18) than walks (15). The lefty also allowed four homers in his brief time on the hill this season.
Ranked by Baseball America as the 23rd-best prospect in Philadelphia’s system prior to the season, Rodriguez is the curious combination of a hard-thrower who doesn’t generate many strikeouts. The 2017 Baseball Prospect Handbook describes Rodriguez as the owner of a 94-96 mph fastball that “can touch 98 with sink to help him get grounders.” These groundball tendencies have been on display even in his brief big league tenure, as Rodriguez has a 58.5% grounder rate over his 36 career innings. Over 647 1/3 frames in the minors, Rodriguez has a 4.24 ERA, 1.91 K/BB rate and just a 5.6 K/9.
Adam Morgan is the only left-handed remaining in the Phillies’ bullpen, so Triple-A southpaws Cesar Ramos and Hoby Milner stand out as the most obvious candidates to be called up as Rodriguez’s replacement on the 25-man roster. Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that the new player will likely not be on the 40-man roster (Ramos and Milner both fit this bill) and the Phillies won’t name the new player until Thursday.