Angels right-hander Chris Rodriguez recently underwent capsule repair surgery on his throwing shoulder, general manager Perry Minasian told reporters (including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register). He is expected to miss the majority of next season recovering.
It’s unfortunately familiar territory for Rodriguez, who only made three minor league appearances between 2018-19 because of back issues. (He also didn’t appear in a game in 2020 because of the canceled minor league season). Public prospect evaluators have raved about his upside on the mound for years, but there’d been questions about whether he could stay healthy enough to live up to his potential even before this latest development.
Rodriguez made his big league debut in 2021, working 29 2/3 innings across 15 appearances. The 23-year-old posted a 3.64 ERA despite subpar strikeout and walk numbers (21.6% and 11.2%, respectively), largely on the strength of a huge 54.7% ground-ball rate. Rodriguez averaged nearly 96 MPH on his power sinker, so it’s little surprise batters had such difficulty elevating the ball against him. That showing likely would’ve put him in the mix for a high-leverage bullpen role come Spring Training, but the Angels will now have to navigate at least the first couple months of the season without him.
In other Angels’ news, Minasian told reporters that outfield/first base coach Bruce Hines will not return in 2022 (via Sam Blum of the Athletic). The GM also confirmed the previously-reported departures of catching coach José Molina and third base coach Brian Butterfield.