The Giants have announced that impressive young righty Dereck Rodriguez is headed to the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring strain, as Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group was among those to tweet. He’ll be replaced in the rotation by Casey Kelly for the time being.
Fortunately, it is said only to be a grade 1 strain for Rodriguez — the mildest form of the injury. It seems that the problem arose during the recent scuffle between the Giants and rival Dodgers, as Crowley and others note on Twitter.
Rodriguez has been among the most surprising players in baseball this year. Previously known only as the son of Hall-of-Famer Ivan Rodriguez, the 26-year-old has emerged as a quality rotation piece in San Francisco after joining the organization over the winter as a minor-league free agent who had never yet pitched in the big leagues.
It seems fair to say that Rodriguez has had a major role in keeping the Giants in shouting distance of a postseason spot. He has thrown 80 innings of 2.25 ERA ball, after all, making him a solid Rookie of the Year candidate — at least, that is, were this not a season that features two otherworldly young National League hitters.
Despite their immediate needs, the Giants will surely prioritize Rodriguez’s long-term health in bringing him back to action. While there’s no reason to think he’s at risk of a severe hamstring injury, lower-body injuries can potentially impact mechanics and lead to other concerns. While Rodriguez doesn’t carry peripherals that suggest he’ll continue to be a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher over the long haul, he looks to be a key piece for a Giants organization that is hoping to infuse some youth into its roster while staying competitive.