Rodriguez, the son of hall-of-fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, converted to pitching in 2015 and quickly made his mark at the upper levels of the Twins and Giants systems. In 118 1/3 IP upon promotion the big club last season, Rodriguez delivered a 2.81 ERA, best among all NL rookies. The mark seemed a mirage, though, as his 112 xFIP-, on the back of 6.77 K/9 and low grounder rate, was among the league’s worst for all pitchers with at least 100 innings last season.
It didn’t take long for regression to pounce in ’19: the righty was torched for nine homers in 41 innings in the Giants’ extreme pitcher-friendly yard, and again struggled to miss bats and keep the ball on the ground. His 119 xFIP- is only slightly worse than last season’s mark, though his 5.05 ERA now more closely mirrors his subpar peripherals.
Rodriguez curried plenty of favor with the old Giants regime, but the new, data-driven one may not look quite so kindly on the contact-heavy profile.